'Riverdale' Star KJ Apa Crashes Car After 14-Hour Work Day, Studio Issues Statement
By Liz Calvario
KJ Apa was involved in a late-night car crash outside Vancouver, Canada, last Thursday, ET confirms.
The 20-year-old Riverdale star reportedly fell asleep at the wheel during his 45-minute drive home past midnight after a 16-plus hour work day, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The trade reports that Apa was then taken to the local hospital for observation and was discharged without serious injuries. The car he was driving is reportedly inoperable, and the passenger side was allegedly destroyed after striking a light pole.
Despite reports that Apa was hospitalized, Warner Bros. Television, who produces the show, said in a statement to ET that the actor was not transported to a hospital and was "treated by first responders on the scene" and "released by them."
"First and foremost, we are extremely grateful that KJ Apa was uninjured during his recent accident. Secondarily, we want to specifically address the characterization that conditions on the set of Riverdale are of concern," reads Warner Bros. Television's statement to ET. "We have a large cast of series regulars, and our actors do not work every day. On the day of the accident, KJ worked 14.2 hours. The previous day he worked 2.5 hours, and the day before that he worked 7.7 hours. KJ has repeatedly been informed about making production aware if he is tired or feels unsafe, and if so, either a ride or hotel room will be provided for him."
"Additionally, it is untrue that KJ was taken to the hospital. He was treated by first responders on the scene and released by them. We also sent a doctor to his home later that same day for a follow-up to confirm his well-being," the statement continued.
A source tells ET that some Riverdale cast members "routinely drive themselves from the city of Vancouver, where they reside, to the set located at least an hour away in a suburb."
While series star Luke Perry has transportation provided by production, the source says the show's younger stars do not. "It is believed these accidents are happening because the actors are too tired after working long hours to drive themselves," the source explains.
A spokesperson for Screen Actors Guild said in a statement give to ET that the union would start an investigation on the case. "This is an extremely troubling situation and we are deeply concerned about the safety of performers on the Riverdale set. We are sending a team to Vancouver to review the circumstances surrounding safety issues affecting performers on this production. We have no further comment at this time."
Since the news of Apa's accident broke, the studio also addressed the ways it ensures the safety of their employees.
"The safety of the cast and crew on all of our productions is of paramount importance to the Studio. Productions adhere to the Screen Actors Guild-mandated turnaround time of 12 hours from wrap time to next day call time for cast members," Warner Bros. TV said in another statement. "In accordance with industry standard policy, if any cast or crew member feels tired or unsafe at any time after working, the Studio will provide a taxi, a driver or a hotel room upon request. This is communicated to all cast and crew, both in writing and verbally, at the beginning of production and is reiterated continuously throughout the duration of production."