AceShowbiz - Melissa Benoist has spoken out regarding suspension following reports of sexual harassment against executive producer Andrew Kreisberg. The leading lady of The CW's "Supergirl" took to her Twitter account to post a lengthy message, voicing her opinion about the recent scandal.
"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," the 29-year-old actress began her message. "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. 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 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. 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," she further said without mentioning Kreisberg's name.
Concluding her message, Melissa wrote, "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."
Fellow "Supergirl" cast member Chyler Leigh also addressed the controversy on her Instagram account. Quoting from Maya Angelo, the Alex Danvers depictor wrote, " 'Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women' - Maya Angelou." She added, "Let's stand up Ladies. Lets stand up FOR each other. Let's stand up WITH each other. Let's #createchange together #sheroes."
As she's also working with Kreisberg on the network's "Arrow", actress Emily Bett Rickards wrote on Twitter, "To the men who committed sexual harassment, who perpetuated rape culture, who turn a 'blind eye,' and complain about 'reverse sexism': You are weak and complicit." She then called "women who found the strength to speak up," "women who supported one another" and women who found their voice "heroines."
Kreisberg, one of the showrunners in Berlanti Production, was suspended after 15 women and 4 men spoke out against Kreisberg on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. Many of the women are current or former employees on those shows. "You would have to watch what you said, what you wore, to try to stop being subjected to sexual innuendo," one woman claimed.
Following the allegations, Kreisberg admitted that he had "made comments on women's appearances and clothes in my capacity as an executive producer." However, he insisted that "they were not sexualized," adding, "Like many people, I have given someone a non-sexual hug or kiss on the cheek."