There was very upsetting news from the Arrowverse over the weekend, as it was revealed that Andrew Kreisberg, showrunner on The Flash and executive producer on Supergirl, Arrow and Legends Of Tomorrow, has been suspended from his duties by The CW and Warner Bros due to allegations of sexual harassment.
Variety reported on Friday that Kreisberg, one of the key figures in Greg Berlanti’s superhero TV universe, is the subject of an investigation following behaviour that is described as “toxic”, “inappropriate”, and “ongoing and escalating over time,” with 19 sources reporting his actions.
Berlanti and fellow producer Sarah Schechter made a statement, saying “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.”
Warner Bros TV Group issued a similar statement: “We have recently been made aware of allegations of misconduct against Andrew Kreisberg. 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.”
In Variety’s report, there’s something of a confused image being painted of the structures that were in place to report this kind of behaviour. The sources did not go to the human resources team “on the assumption that they would pay a price for that, given how important his position was at the company,” and an investigation started as word spread. One of the sources, “a high-level female producer” said that she reported Kreisberg’s behaviour to a senior executive but, in her words, “There was zero response. Nothing happened. Nothing changed.” Meanwhile, Variety’s sources claim that Berlanti was not made aware of any reports and “if he had, he would have directed them to human resources.” Kreisberg has denied all the allegations, which are detailed in the article.
In the days following, Supergirl stars Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh and Arrow‘s Emily Bett Rickards took to social media to emphasise the importance of standing up and speaking out, and to criticise the culture of turning a blind eye.
— Melissa Benoist (@MelissaBenoist) November 13, 2017
— Emily Bett Rickards (@EmilyBett) November 13, 2017
As reports like these continue to emerge, we hope that this kind of toxic behaviour continues to be held to account, that the structures that are put in place to protect people are strengthened and more effective, that people feel safe and secure enough to report inappropriate behaviour, that it is not simply ignored or excused, and that people in positions of power who feel like they can get away with this kind of thing discover that they absolutely cannot.