Supergirl star Melissa Benoist addresses E.P.'s suspension over sexual harassment reports
Supergirl star Melissa Benoist has spoken out about the recent suspension of executive producer Andrew Kreisberg following reports of sexual harassment and other misconduct.
“I am a woman who leads a show that supports equality and feminism, empowerment, and fighting for what is right. I have always tried to conduct myself this way personally, as well. Sadly, the show and my career are a part of an industry that doesn’t always mirror these sentiments,” she wrote. “This is heartbreaking, and at times makes me feel helpless. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. But I’m an optimist. I believe lasting change is possible, and when people are mistreated, they should have a safe forum to speak their truth and always be heard. And when people commit crimes or harass others, they should always be held accountable — no matter what industry they work in or how much power they wield. I’ve spoken up about it in the past — publicly and not so publicly — and I’ll continue to do so. All of us should, without fear or shame.”
Benoist concluded, “We all need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. So this week, I’ll head back to work on Supergirl 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.”
The actress didn’t address Kreisberg by name in her post. In a report published by Variety on Friday, 19 anonymous people described their alleged experiences with the producer. Kreisberg is an executive producer on The Flash, Arrow, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, in addition to Supergirl.
Fellow Supergirl actress Chyler Leigh also addressed the situation on Instagram, starting with a quote from Maya Angelou: “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” “Let’s stand up Ladies. Let’s stand up FOR each other. Let’s stand up WITH each other. Let’s #createchange together #sheroes,” she added.
Late Friday, Warner Bros. Television released a statement regarding the report that described Kreisberg as creating a “toxic” work environment where he allegedly touched people without permission, consistently made sexual comments about women’s appearances, and made staffers feel uncomfortable. “We have recently been made aware of allegations of misconduct against Andrew Kreisberg,” the said. “We have suspended Mr. Kreisberg and are conducting an internal investigation. We take all allegations of misconduct extremely seriously, and are committed to creating a safe working environment for our employees and everyone involved in our productions.”
Berlanti Productions, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter’s production company behind the shows, also issued a statement Friday night: “We were recently made aware of some deeply troubling allegations regarding one of our showrunners. We have been encouraging and fully cooperating with the investigation into this by Warner Bros. There is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of our cast, crew, writers, producers and any staff. We do not tolerate harassment and are committed to doing everything we can to make an environment that’s safe to work in and safe to speak up about if it isn’t.”
Kreisberg strongly denied the allegations to Variety.