Su­per­hero stars use their pow­ers

Ac­tresses take on Hol­ly­wood sex­ual ha­rass­ment

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - ENTERTAINMENT - MICHAEL CAVNA

Ac­tresses who star on some of TV’s top su­per­hero shows aren’t nam­ing names. But in the wake of the Warner Bros. sus­pen­sion last week of pro­ducer Andrew Kreis­berg af­ter al­le­ga­tions about his be­hav­iour, sev­eral per­form­ers in DC Comics-based TV shows are speak­ing out against sex­ual ha­rass­ment in Hol­ly­wood.

Their state­ments come af­ter their big-screen su­per­hero sis­ters Ellen Page and Anna Paquin have been tak­ing on pro­ducer-di­rec­tor Brett Rat­ner in the wake of an L.A. Times re­port of sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions against him.

“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,” Melissa Benoist, the ti­tle star of Su­per­girl, said on Twit­ter.

Su­per­girl cast­mate Chyler Leigh fol­lowed up on In­sta­gram, be­gin­ning with a Maya An­gelou quote to urge women to sup­port each other: “Each time a woman stands up for her­self, with­out know­ing it pos­si­bly, with­out claim­ing it, she stands up for all women.”

And Emily Bett Rickards from Ar­row tweeted: “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.”

Rickards’ tweet also ad­dressed women who are shar­ing their sto­ries of as­sault and ha­rass­ment: “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.”

Kreis­berg, an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, works on the se­ries Su­per­girl, The Flash, Ar­row and DC’s Le­gends of To­mor­row.

The Warner Bros. Tele­vi­sion Group be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­le­ga­tions against Kreis­berg af­ter Va­ri­ety re­ported last Fri­day that 19 peo­ple de­scribed ex­pe­ri­ences of ha­rass­ment they said Kreis­berb com­mit­ted, in­clud­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate touch­ing and fos­ter­ing a toxic work en­vi­ron­ment.

Kreis­berg de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, telling Va­ri­ety: “I have made com­ments on women’s ap­pear­ances and clothes in my ca­pac­ity as an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, but they were not sex­u­al­ized.”

Warner Bros. Tele­vi­sion says it is con­duct­ing an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the al­le­ga­tions.

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.” Tweet from Emily Bett Rickards

Ber­lanti Pro­duc­tions, the stu­dio be­hind those su­per­hero se­ries, said: “We were re­cently made aware of some deeply trou­bling al­le­ga­tions re­gard­ing one of our showrun­ners. We have been en­cour­ag­ing and fully co-op­er­at­ing with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into this by Warner Bros.

And Page Six re­ported last week, cit­ing only an un­named in­dus­try source, that Won­der Woman star Gal Gadot had is­sued an ul­ti­ma­tum to try to force Rat­ner off any Won­der Woman se­quel. On Mon­day, Warner Bros. told Busi­ness In­sider the Page Six re­port was “false.”

Cana­dian ac­tress Emily Bett Rickards

Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Andrew Kreis­berg

Chyler Leigh

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