It’s been nearly two months since The Flash and Supergirl showrunner Andrew Kreisberg was fired following allegations of sexual misconduct, and now executive producer Greg Berlanti is speaking out about the allegations, their impact, and how he’s moving forward — personally and professionally.
In an interview with Variety, Berlanti — who is executive producer for all The CW’s Arrowverse shows, including Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow — explained that, though he already knew that Kreisberg had some issues with anger management, he was unaware of the sexual harassment complaints and the took him by surprise.
“I was shocked, I was disappointed, I was confused,” Berlanti said. “But my overwhelming desire then and to this moment was how I can fix this, how can I help people that may have been hurt in any way. That is still the predominant feeling I have about all of it. So that supersedes all of the other feelings and emotions.”
In November, Warner Bros. Television announced that they had suspended Kreisberg after Variety reported that 15 women and four men had come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against the producer. Two weeks later, following an investigation of the claims, Kreisberg was fired. Berlanti says that he found out right before the Variety article and that as soon as he heard, he went to Warner Bros.
“I first received an allegation about Andrew and harassment about a week before the Variety article came out,” Berlanti explained. “It was from a third party, not affiliated with any of the shows, who called me and shared something with me that I found deeply upsetting. I immediately alerted Warner Brothers. They had just heard the same thing and decided they were going to begin an internal investigation right away. The article came out and brought other things to light.”
Berlanti also said that he and Sarah Schecter, head of Berlanti Productions, immediately made sure staff and crew knew that not only was it safe for them to report what they had seen, knew or experienced, but encouraged it and now he thinks there’s been a far more positive working environment on set.
“I have to say I think everything’s been so much more open and positive,” Berlanti said. “I think everyone, everywhere we went really saw this crisis as an opportunity — myself included — to create an incredibly positive place to work.”
And part of creating that positive work environment includes putting policies and procedures in place to ensure nothing like the allegations happen again and while Berlanti explained that this included H.R. procedures — such instituting exit interviews for departing writers and anonymous performance reviews — to help catch things, he also said that the corporate culture needed to change as well.
“I didn’t realize the degree to which people think I am [unapproachable,]” Berlanti said. “You are interfacing with so many people all daylong across all the shows, and people are sharing stuff with you and talking to you about this problem or that thing. So, I really thought I was being communicative and open, but I didn’t realize the degree to which people felt like I was a person in a tower who was unapproachable in some way. And so that’s on me. I have to make more phone calls, set up more lunches, have more dinners, fly up more to Vancouver in particular. It’s on me to reach out more to them and to let them know that I’m here and I’m available. And that’s been happening. I’ve been getting a lot more calls. I’m getting more e-mails and calls and check-ins from people across the shows. I didn’t get into this business to have multiple shows. I got in this business because I love telling stories and I love working with people. And so, I never want the fact that we have so much stuff going on to prohibit me from doing the things I love the most.”
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c, The Flash on Tuesdays at 8/7c followed by Black Lightning at 9/8c, and Arrow airs Thursdays at 9/8c. Legends of Tomorrow will return in February.