Stars of Vancouver-shot Arrowverse TV shows speak out about sexual harassment allegations against showrunner

    1 of 12 2 of 12

      In a November 10 article in Variety, several sexual harassment allegations were made against TV executive producer Andrew Kreisberg.

      Consequently, Warner Bros. TV group suspended Kreisberg and is conducting an internal investigation. None of the allegations have been proven in court, and Kreisberg denies all of the allegations in the article.

      Kreisberg is the executive producer of the CW shows Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and DC's Legends of Tomorrow, all of which are shot in Vancouver and are part of the Arrowverse, a shared fictional universe.

      Variety reported that 15 women and four men alleged that they either experienced or witnessed Kreisberg sexually harassing or engaging in inappropriate sexual contact over a period of several years, including asking for massages from female staff members, kissing women or touching people without permission, and making sexualized comments about women's appearances.

      None of sources in the story wanted to be named due to fears of retribution.

      Andrew Kreisberg

      Several stars of the shows that Kreisberg is a showrunner for have made statements on social media.

      Melissa Benoist, who plays the title character on Supergirl, did not name anyone specific in a statement she made on Twitter but called for accountability. She also said she found the state of affairs "heartbreaking" and that it sometimes makes her feel helpless.

      “I am a woman who leads a show that supports equality and feminism, empowerment, and fighting for what is right,” Benoist wrote. “Sadly, the show and my career are part of an industry that doesn’t always mirror these sentiments.”

      She went on to say that she will return to the Supergirl set in Vancouver "even more committed to being a part of changing the norm by listening when people speak up, and refusing to accept an environment that is anything less than a safe, respectful and collaborative space.”

      Chris Wood, who plays Mon-El on Supergirl, noted that while the show is about women, "it is a shame that the stories we tell and the words we say don't seem to be resonating with everyone behind the scenes."

      He was highly critical of male behaviour that has been an ongoing, chronic problem.

      "I'm tired of seeing men taking advantage of an aged and tired concept of alpha-elitism," he went to state. "Without the public shaming of this behaviour—this industry-wide standard of stubborn and often angry sexism—those perpetuating the problem can continue to behave like cavemen."

      Supergirl's Mellisa Benoist and Chris Wood

      He added that when victims in general speak up, those in power have a responsibility to take care of those who work for them.

      "And to my fellow men: we can do better."

      British actor Maisie Richardson-Sellers, who plays Amaya Jiwe/Vixen on DC's Legends of Tomorrow, was similarly critical of harassment and those who fail to do anything about it.  

      Caity Lotz, who portrays Sara Lance/White Canary on both Arrow and DC's Legends of Tomorrow, added her voice to those who are supporting alleged victims.

      Vancouver actor Emily Bett Rickards, who plays Felicity Smoak on Arrow, also expressed her support for women speaking up and condemned men who engage in harassment.

      Supergirl costar Chyler Leigh, who plays Supergirl's sister Alexandra "Alex" Danvers, supported all of the actors speaking out with several retweets.

      She also encouraged women to support and stand with each other.

      Canadian actor Stephen Amell, who plays lead character Oliver Queen/Green Arrrow on Arrow, posted a video on Facebook on November 13. He said that he supports everything that Benoist, Rickards, and Lotz stated.

      "If anyone ever feels anything less than 100 percent safe, or anyone feels as through they aren’t allowed to express themselves and be the person that they are, that they should come to whomever they are supposed to go to and that I’ll stand right besides them, right behind them, I’ll speak on their behalf if need be,” Amell said in the video. “I also think that in situations like this if you’re not an active part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem. Period. That’s it." 

      Similary, Grant Gustin, who plays the title character on The Flash and who appeared at Fan Expo Vancouver this past weekend, also expressed his support for the women speaking out. He noted that at times, he has been uncertain what to say over the past few weeks but is intent on learning how to become a better ally.
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook