'Supergirl' Melissa Benoist: 'Heartbreaking' that her industry doesn't mirror her show's message

Libby Hill, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

"Supergirl" star Melissa Benoist has spoken out in the wake of sexual harassment accusations against co-showrunner Andrew Kreisberg, who has been suspended pending an investigation by Warner Bros.

"I am a woman who leads a show that supports equality and feminism, empowerment and fighting for what is right. I have always tried to conduct myself this way personally, as well," Benoist said in a statement posted Sunday night on Twitter. "Sadly, the show and my career are a part of an industry that doesn't always mirror these sentiments."

In a Variety story Friday, 15 women and four men detailed years of alleged misconduct by Kreisberg, including frequent touching without permission, asking for massages from female staff members and sexualized comments about women's appearances.

Kreisberg has denied the accusations. Warner Bros. is conducting an investigation with the cooperation of Berlanti Productions, which oversees the producer's shows. Variety said its sources chose to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation.

Benoist didn't directly mention Kreisberg -- who serves as an executive producer on The CW's "Arrow," "The Flash" and "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" in addition to "Supergirl" -- but addressed the atmosphere of the aftermath of allegations against him.

"This is heartbreaking, and at times makes me feel helpless. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way," she wrote. "But I'm an optimist. I believe lasting change is possible, and when people are mistreated, they should have a safe forum to speak their trust and always be heard."

She continued: "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."

Benoist then moved to advocate that people, including herself, should continue speaking up in the face of wrongdoing and to hold themselves 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," she concluded.

The third season of "Supergirl" is airing on the CW. It premiered on CBS in 2015 and moved to its current home for its second cycle.

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