TV's women superheroes speak out against harassment

Melissa Benoist (left) and Chyler Leigh are among the actresses whose posts on social media supported the alleged victims of abuse.
Melissa Benoist (above) and Chyler Leigh are among the actresses whose posts on social media supported the alleged victims of abuse.PHOTO: REUTERS
Melissa Benoist (left) and Chyler Leigh are among the actresses whose posts on social media supported the alleged victims of abuse.
Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh (above) are among the actresses whose posts on social media supported the alleged victims of abuse.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • Actresses who star on some of TV's top superhero shows are not confining their heroics only on screen.

In the wake of Warner Bros' suspension last week of producer Andrew Kreisberg following 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 brethren Ellen Page and Anna Paquin took on director Brett Ratner in the wake 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 tweeted.

Supergirl castmate Chyler Leigh followed up by posting on Sunday to Instagram, beginning with a quote from civil rights activist Maya Angelou 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."

Emily Bett Rickards from Arrow tweeted on Sunday: "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."

Mr Kreisberg, an executive producer, worked on the WB series Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and DC's Legends Of Tomorrow.

The Warner Bros Television Group began investigating the allegations against him after Variety reported last Friday that 19 people, who chose to remain anonymous, described experiences of harassment that they said were committed by him, including inappropriate touching and fostering a toxic work environment.

The Kreisberg case follows sexual abuse claims by at least six women this month against producer Ratner.

Page posted last Friday on Facebook that he outed her as a lesbian a dozen years ago during a cast and crew meet-and-greet for X-Men: The Last Stand, when she was 18. X-Men co-star Paquin corroborated her account on Twitter.

Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot had also reportedly issued an ultimatum to the studio that she would not sign up for a sequel if Ratner - whose company had helped finance the blockbuster - was linked to it.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2017, with the headline 'TV's women superheroes speak out against harassment'. Print Edition | Subscribe