Following allegations of sexual harassment against Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, stars from the DC superhero shows on The CW are speaking out. Both Melissa Benoist, Supergirl herself, and Arrow’s Emily Bett Rickards have shared messages online.
It was announced that Kreisberg had been suspended from his role on the shows Friday, coinciding with the publishing of an expose by Variety. In the story, 15 women and four men–all of whom remained anonymous–accuse Kreisberg of sexual harassment and inappropriate physical contact. While the producer denies the claims, Warner Bros. TV says in a statement, “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.”
The 19 who came forward for the story were either subjected to or witnessed the alleged harassment, which included sexualized comments about women, asking for massages from female staff, and touching and kissing people without permission. In a statement to Variety, Kreisberg says, “I have made comments on women’s appearances and clothes in my capacity as an executive producer, but they were not sexualized. Like many people, I have given someone a non-sexual hug or kiss on the cheek.”
In her first public comment since news of Kreisberg’s suspension broke, Benoist tweeted her thoughts. “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. This is heartbreaking, and at times makes me feel helpless,” she writes. “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.”
Benoist also says she’ll work on “changing the norm” as she returns to the set of Supergirl “by listening when people speak up, and refusing to accept an environment that is anything less than a safe, respectful and collaborative space.”
Richards tweeted her thoughts as well, writing, “To the men who committed sexual harassment, who perpetuated rape culture, who turn a ‘blind eye,’ and complain about ‘reverse sexism’: You are weak and complicit. To the women who found the strength to speak up, to the women who supported one another and to the women finding their voice: You can. You are heroines.”
Though Kreisberg has been suspended during the internal investigation into the allegations, his absence shouldn’t have any impact on The CW’s superhero shows. The Flash and Supergirl, the shows he works closest with, have showrunners in place to lead production through the end of the season.