[UPDATED] We are now on the cusp of The Expanse, Season 5. Season 4’s cliffhanger ending, with Marco Inaros hurling stealth-covered asteroids at Earth, left fans on the edge of their seats. Likewise, the Season 5 trailer sets up some character-specific story arcs for both Amos and Naomi. Anticipation for the show is at an all-time high, but…. For as much enthusiasm as there is for The Expanse to return, that excitement is decidedly tempered by the controversy surrounding one of its stars, Cas Anvar.

Any keen eye will notice that Alex, pilot of the Rocinante, appears in the Season 5 trailer for all of a nanosecond. There’s an important, and disheartening, reason for that.

Cas Anvar; The expanse
Cas Anvar appears as Alex Kamal in The Expanse. (Image: Amazon Prime Video)

By all outward appearances, Cas Anvar was a pillar of societal aspiration. A supporter of racial justice and animal rights/rescue, the Canadian actor seemed to be “one of the good guys.” Then came the turn and burn: Anvar found himself embroiled in accusations of sexual misconduct. Those accusations led to his dismissal from the cast and his future absence from the sixth and final season of The Expanse.

Excitement for Season 5 clouded in Cas Anvar disappointment

Full disclosure: I’m a lawyer by day. Because of my background I hold true to the ideal that an accused is innocent until proven guilty. The fact that the Amazon Prime Video conducted an independent investigation of the matter and consequently relieved Cas Anvar of his duties on The Expanse, however? That’s pretty damning. For me, as someone who was beginning to truly like the person Cas Anvar purported to be, it’s downright infuriating. If even some of the allegations are true, and there are a plethora of them (reports are there are seventy-plus accusers)….

Anvar clearly isn’t the man I and many others thought him to be, he doesn’t deserve to be a part of something as great as The Expanse, and the studio is right to move on without him. Such behavior is reprehensible and we cannot condone it. (If you’re unaware, conduct a quick search on Reddit and you’ll find the litany of allegations.)

The Expanse; Amazon Prime Video
Image: Amazon Prime Video

In 2020 we all need a little something to cling to. Something to give us joy, or hope, entertainment, or comfort. The Expanse Season 5 for many would have filled one or all of those categories. Now, as I watch Cas Anvar in Season 5, I can’t help but feel a little pit in my stomach. (And for the record: yes, I’ve seen the press screeners for the new season, and no I’m not telling you anything about it until the studio lifts the press embargo.)

Related: Why we love The Expanse

There are rocks hurling towards Earth. Naomi’s going searching for her son. Amos is, well, Amos, and Holden’s taking the Roci out for a hunt. As Bobbie would say, “hitch your t*ts and pucker up! It’s time to peel the paint!” The Expanse Season 5 arrives a week from today.