In a span of a few short months that has delivered a seemingly endless stream of people coming forward to name names of Hollywood harassers, abusers and rapists, the scope has not escaped the world of live-action superheroes without issue. Andrew Kreisberg, the executive producer of CW shows, “Arrow,” “Supergirl,” “The Flash” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” has been suspended by Warner Bros. TV Group, pending an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. At the moment there are 19 allegations being made against him (15 women and 4 men,) with claims including a range of sexual harassment and inappropriate physical contact over a number of years.
In a statement to Variety, who broke the original story, Warner Bros. TV Group 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.”
The stories, as told to Variety, are plentiful and very in-depth. They come from individuals who have and currently work with Kreisberg, they match up, corroborate each other and detail similar incidents. They range from tails of him hiring staffers based on looks, requesting massages, kissing women without consent, sexualized comments about women’s appearances and dress, weird in-office requests and contact with both men and women, all the way to an obsessive crush over a staff member that led to her quitting – a story confirmed by 12 different sources.
Which brings up the even larger issue: one of the inappropriate questions often asked of victims in these situations is, “why didn’t you tell anyone?” However, in this case, people did tell someone. A lot of someones, all the way up the ladder. At least one female colleague said she went to a senior executive at Berlanti Productions, the company that makes the CW shows for the DC and the network, with no response. A male colleague claims to have tried multiple times to correct his behavior, but with him being a show runner, it didn’t go anywhere. The show runner on a TV show is essentially THE power position. It’s similar to a producer on a movie. No one has offered to identify themselves for fear of putting their careers at risk.
Andrew Kreisberg currently denies every allegation. According to him, he’s mentored men and women over the years, but never inappropriate, and he made attempts to explain away or deny that any of the allegations actually happened. Sources close to Berlanti Productions say that owner, Greg Berlanti, the man behind 6 shows currently on television and another 3 in production, was never made personally aware of the accusations, and definitely would have acted, if so. Overall, the colleagues that contributed, spoke largely about the level of uncomfortability that Kreisberg has brought to the office, with multiple women saying they avoided sitting next to him, and felt under constant pressure to not speak or dress in any way that would subject them to harassment, not that it necessarily did any good.
Look, TV shows are fun and being able to see live-action versions of our comic book heroes is entertaining, but no one should have to deal with being sexually harassed, touched inappropriately, or otherwise made to feel sexualized or uncomfortable in the workplace. It’s truly a shame that a production company that is usually know for such progressive storylines, has such an internal failure going on. Kreisberg certainly comes off as a supervillain, here. Making sure that is handled is far more important than this week’s Flash bad guy or wondering whether Mon-El is going to come back to ruin more Supergirl episodes. Let’s hope Warner Bros. TV Group and Berlanti Productions move swiftly and do the right thing.