The CW president Mark Pedowitz revealed storylines on The Flash season 4 and Supergirl season 3 weren’t changed after Andrew Kreisberg’s firing. The CW has been building up its DC TV shared universe ever since the network spun off The Flash from flagship series Arrow. Legends of Tomorrow was launched as another spinoff from The Flash and Arrow, while Supergirl was merged with the universe in its second season after moving from CBS to The CW. As a result of the shows sharing a universe, they also share a number of creatives in behind the scenes roles, including Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and, up until late last year, Andrew Kreisberg.
Kreisberg was accused of sexual harassment in November 2017 and suspended pending an investigation. He was one of many accused in the wave of sexual harassment and violence allegations that surfaced in Hollywood and other industries since the in-depth piece revealing decades of Harvey Weinstein’s misconduct was published in early October. After an investigation conducted by Warner Bros. Television, Kreisberg was fired due to the accusations of sexual harassment and physical misconduct that resulted in a toxic work environment. Now, Pedowitz has voiced his support of WBTV’s actions, and revealed that production on The Flash and Supergirl has since continued as planned.
While speaking to EW at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, Pedowitz revealed no storylines on either Supergirl or The Flash were changed in the wake of the allegations against and firing of Kreisberg. He did note that the introduction of misogynistic character Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer) on The Flash arrived at a poor time. Pedowitz said:
Well, ironically the allegations came in after the first [Ralph] episode of the show was shot, so there was a heightened awareness as we went through it. It’s an old-time cartoon character, so at a moment, it became cringeworthy, but if you look at the character now, as the episodes go on, he’s not that character anymore. It was the direction it was always going to go.
On the allegations that surfaced against Kreisberg specifically, Pedowitz voiced his support of Warner Bros’ decision to fire the executive producer and co-showrunner, saying, “No one should have to live in the world with sexual harassment or misconduct and people should feel free.” Since the Arrowverse shows are produced by Warner Bros. Television, the company in charge of conducting the investigation, but Pedowitz praised the studio for its handling of the situation:
When we found out, the studio informed us about the potential allegations, the studio investigated it, we supported the studio and their perspective. … From a policy point of view, the system worked when the complaint came forward. And to the studio’s credit, and we support them, they did the right thing.
In the wake of the allegations against Kreisberg, fans have looked at certain episodes of The Flash and Supergirl in a different light. Particularly, The Flash season 2 episode ‘Trajectory’, which featured a storyline in which Iris West asked her new boss to talk about work over coffee, but he misinterpreted it as her asking him on a date – leading to her apologizing for the mix up. Fans criticized the storyline at the time for portraying a boss acting inappropriately toward a subordinate, and have brought the episode back up in the discussions of Kreisberg’s influence on the Arrowverse series.
Of course, while neither The Flash nor Supergirl have altered their current storylines due to Kreisberg’s firing, both shows could benefit from what may be better working conditions. If the writers described the environment under Kreisberg as toxic, having that element eliminated may, as Pedowitz said, help the cast and crew “feel free.”
Supergirl season 3 continues on Monday, January 15 @8pm. The Flash season 4 continues on Tuesday, January 16 @8pm.
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