Movies & TV / News

Arrowverse EP Andrew Kreisberg Suspended Amid Sexual Harassment Investigation

November 10, 2017 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
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Andrew Kreisberg, who is an executive producer on The CW’s Arrowverse shows, has been suspended amidst an investigation into sexual harassment claims. Variety reports that Kreisberg has been accused by fifteen women and four men of a pattern of alleged sexual harassment and inappropriate physical contact over several years.

“We have recently been made aware of allegations of misconduct against Andrew Kreisberg,” said Warner Bros. TV Group. “We have suspended Mr. Kreisberg and are conducting an internal investigation. We take all allegations of misconduct extremely seriously, and are committed to creating a safe working environment for our employees and everyone involved in our productions.”

All of the individuals making allegations asked not to be named for fear of retaliation. According to the site, many of the women are “current or former employees in a range of positions on those shows.”

Sources said that Greg Berlanti, who heads Berlanti Productions which oversees Kreisberg’s shows, was never made aware and would have directed people to human resources if he was told. Berlanti and co-head Sarah Schechter said in a statement, “We were recently made aware of some deeply troubling allegations regarding one of our showrunners. We have been encouraging and fully cooperating with the investigation into this by Warner Bros. There is nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of our cast, crew, writers, producers and any staff. We do not tolerate harassment and are committed to doing everything we can to make an environment that’s safe to work in and safe to speak up about if it isn’t.”

Each of the men and women told similar stories and corroborated each other’s accounts of stories. They included accusations that Kreisberg frequently touched people without their permission, asked for massages from uncomfortable female staff members, and kissed women without asking. In addition, Kreisberg allegedly made constant sexualized comments about women’s appearances and clothes. Two women said that he talked regularly about how he hired staff members based on their appearances and said at one point, “You should have seen the other dogs we interviewed for that position.”

A writer who worked with Kreisberg said, “Younger women were constantly belittled and subjected to nasty comments.” In addition, a high-level producer on one of the CW shows says that a young women who worked in two successive low-tier jobs and was the object of an “obsessive crush” by Kreisberg. This woman left due to Kriesberg’s unwanted advances. Over twelve sources corroborated that account.

The claims include a virtual laundry list of allegations, with one writer saying, “It was an environment in which women — assistants, writers, executives, directors — were all evaluated based on their bodies, not on their work.” He said he talked to Kriesberg about it a few times but had zero impact on Kreisberg, coming to believe that “sexual harassment and demeaning women was just pervasive there — like white noise in the background.”

One high-level female producer says they brought her concerns to someone at Berlanted Productions and said, “There was zero response. Nothing happened. Nothing changed.”

Among the other comments made by individuals were, “The workplace feels unsafe” and “He scares people.”

None of the sources for the story reported Kriesberg because his level of power made them believe that they would be retaliated against. Once word spread about Variety’s story, HR began interviewing Kriesberg’s staff. “Going to HR never crossed my mind, because it seems like nothing’s been enforced,” said one person.

Kreisberg told Variety, “I have made comments on women’s appearances and clothes in my capacity as an executive producer, but they were not sexualized. Like many people, I have given someone a non-sexual hug or kiss on the cheek.” He denies any instances of inappropriate touching or massages and said, “I have proudly mentored both male and female colleagues for many years. But never in what I believe to be an unwanted way and certainly never in a sexual way.”