At the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour Monday, Supergirl star Melissa Benoist addressed how the allegations of sexual harassment against, and subsequent firing of, former Supergirl boss Andrew Kreisberg have affected the series.
“That was a major disappointment, and the irony was not lost on me,” Benoist said following her panel for Paramount project Waco. “I have to say that the way our show has recovered as a cast and a crew together, we have an atmosphere on set now that I’m extremely proud of and there are a lot of amazing men that work on our show, and we have a lot of amazing women that are in powerful positions on our show as well — now one of our co-showrunners is a female, [Jessica Queller], and the executive producer Sarah Schechter. We’re all in the fight for equality and for a safer atmosphere in the working space.”
Kreisberg, who was also an executive producer on The Flash, Arrow, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, was fired by Warner Bros. in November after news broke that 15 women and four men alleged sexual harassment and other physical misconduct by Kreisberg that ultimately created a toxic work environment. Kreisberg, who strongly denied the allegations, was initially suspended as Warner Bros. Television Group set out to investigate.
Though Supergirl will be going on a short hiatus due to a production delay — the show will return for four weeks starting Monday, after which Legends of Tomorrow will air nine weeks of original episodes until Supergirl reclaims the timeslot on April 16 — CW boss Mark Pedowitz previously told EW that had nothing to do with the Kreisberg investigation.
Asked how the business does better as a whole, Benoist says, “I think it’s a matter of empathy, and it’s a matter of listening to each other and maybe as standing in each other’s shoes for a day across genders, and across sexualities, across any platforms. I just think it’s a matter of listening to each other. It’s hard to talk about something when you’re still so in the thick of it, when you’re still so engulfed by sorting out the confusion, but I have a lot of hope. I think that people are better than the way things have been.”
When the allegations first came to light, Benoist released a statement on Twitter, calling the situation “heartbreaking,” noting that she would return to work that week “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.” Read her full statement here.
Supergirl returns Monday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.