University of Missouri had to apologized to some Missouri legislators for comparing politics in Jefferson City to the murderous, lecherous Netflix series “House of Cards.”
The “House of Cards” comparison surfaced the same week that star Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct. Allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior with a male minor led Spacey this week to announce that he is gay.
In an effort to attract students to a long-running program that recruits, trains and places interns to work with lawmakers at the Missouri Capitol, a non-academic department at the university devised an online advertisement with the headline, “Experience the real life ‘House of Cards!’”
The advertisement was written before the Spacey allegations came out, said Christian Basi, MU spokesman.
The ad was posted on MU Info, a platform that sends targeted emails to students, faculty and staff about events and campus happenings. It was also posted on a university website that lists the latest news from MU Info.
The university received calls from some upset Columbia-area state legislators. Democratic state Rep. Martha Stevens of Columbia told the Associated Press she found the comparison insulting.
University officials called legislators to apologize.
Basi, who called the ad a failed attempt to use pop culture to attract students, said that as soon as university officials saw the advertisement online, “we immediately realized the headline was in poor taste.”
The ad was removed from the website and Basi said it will never appear again.
“We value the relationship we have built with the legislative offices and don’t want this mistake to damage that relationship.”