AceShowbiz - Ali Larter has spoken up after Leonard Roberts claimed she was responsible for his exit from "Heroes". In an essay published by Variety on Wednesday, December 16, the actor claimed that he was written off the show as a result of a tension with the actress, whom he often shared screen with as his onscreen wife.
Responding to Roberts' claims, Larter released a statement later on Wednesday to extend her apology. "I am deeply saddened to hear about Leonard Roberts' experience on Heroes and I am heartbroken reading his perception of our relationship, which absolutely doesn't match my memory nor experience on the show," she said in the statement.
While she denied his allegations, she added, "I respect Leonard as an artist and I applaud him or anyone using their voice and platform. I am truly sorry for any role I may have played in his painful experience during that time and I wish him and his family the very best."
Roberts previously wrote in the essay that he was told not to "think of [his firing] as a situation where the Black man loses and the white woman wins." He, however, could not help thinking that race played a part in his firing after Larter often complained about her scenes with him.
He recalled one instance when Larter refused to expose her shoulders, at the request of the episode's director, in a bedroom scene with him. Larter then requested a meeting with the show's creators on set and had "an intense and loud conversation in which she expressed she had never been so disrespected - as an actress, a woman or a human being," he said.
Roberts asked another star, Adrian Pasdar, if Larter had reacted similarly during their intimate scene to which he recalled her "openness to collaboration." The D. L. Hawkins depicter concluded, "I couldn't help wondering whether race was a factor."
Roberts noticed that his presence on the show subsequently got smaller and smaller, and other non-white characters were killed off midway through the first season. He also recounted the moment Larter appeared to be blame him for low sales of magazine which cover featured the two of them. " 'I'm hearing our cover is selling the least of all of them,' she told me. It was the first and only thing she said to me that night and I believed the subtext was clear: I was tarnishing her brand," he said.
After all those treatments, Roberts got a call from series creator Tim Kring who informed him about his exit. According to him, "in a short voicemail message, he said that due to 'the Ali Larter situation,' when the show returned for season 2, audiences would learn that D.L. had died, and that I was free to call him if I wanted to talk."
NBC and Kring have not responded to Roberts' claims, but executive producer Dennis Hammer said in a statement to Variety, "14 years is a long time ago, but I remember clearly that Leonard was a great guy and a total pro."