'Supergirl' Star Melissa Benoist Speaks Out Following EP's Suspension Due to Allegations of Sexual Harassment
By Zach Seemayer
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Supergirl star Melissa Benoist is addressing the ongoing sexual harassment scandals rocking Hollywood, following the recent suspension of Andrew Kreisberg -- executive producer of Supergirl as well as its fellow CW/DC Comics shows Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow -- over multiple reports of sexual harassment and other forms of workplace misconduct.
“I am a woman who leads a show that supports equality and feminism, empowerment, and fighting for what is right," Benoist wrote in a powerful statement she shared to social media on Sunday.
"Sadly, the show and my career are a part of an industry that doesn’t always mirror these sentiments. This is heartbreaking, and at times makes me feel helpless," she continued. "I know I’m not the only one who feels this way."
The actress went on to share that she remains "an optimist," and believes "lasting change is possible."
"When people are mistreated, they should have a safe forum to speak their truth and always be heard. And 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," she wrote. "I’ve spoken up about it in the past — publicly and not so publicly — and I’ll continue to do so. All of us should, without fear or shame."
The actress concluded her statement by explaining that we all "need to hold ourselves to a higher standard."
"So this week, I’ll head back to work on Supergirl even more committed to being a part of changing the norm by listening when people speak up, and refusing to accept an environment that is anything less than a safe, respectful and collaborative space," Benoist declared.
While the Supergirl star didn't refer to Kreisberg by name, the executive producer is at the center of a Warner Bros. internal investigation after an expose in Variety featured allegations of inappropriate behavior from 19 different people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
According to the Variety report, Kreisberg is accused of creating a "toxic" work environment which included touching people without their consent, making lewd and sexual comments about women's appearances, and making employees uncomfortable. Warner Bros. TV Group responded to the report in a statement to the publication, saying that Kreisberg had been suspended as they conducted their investigation.
Benoist's co-star Chyler Leigh, who plays Supergirl's sister, Alex Danvers, on the hit CW superhero series, shared her support for Benoist's message on Twitter.
Sharing a link to a story about the star's statement, Leigh wrote, "Love you, Sis! I stand with you."
Leigh also seemed to address the scandal on Instagram in a statement that began with a quote from the late Maya Angelou: “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without know it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women."
"Let’s stand up Ladies," she continued. "Let's stand up FOR each other. Let’s stand up WITH each other. Let’s #createchange together #sheroes."
Emily Bett Rickards, who stars as Felicity Smoak on Arrow, as well as its multiple spinoff series, also spoke out on Sunday, taking to social media to share a message condemning men who promote or encourage sexism and a culture of harassment in America.
"To men who committed harassment, who perpetuated rape culture, who turn a 'blind eye,' and complain about 'reverse sexism': you are weak and complicit," Rickards wrote. "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."