Candice Patton has played a leading role in The Flash since it premiered in 2014. The actress has recently commented on how CW and Warner Bros. shrugged off fans’ racism toward her in the early days of the Arrowverse series.
The actress said, “In 2014, there were no support systems on The Open Up Podcast. No one was looking out for that. It was just free range to get abused every single day.”
According to Patton, being one of the first Black actresses in the DC TV Universe wasn’t easy.
“It’s a dangerous place to be in when you’re one of the first, and you’re facing backlash for it, and there’s no help,” she continued. “Now, people understand a little better, and they understand how fans can be racist, especially in the genre, and misogynistic. But at the time, it was kind of like: ‘Yeah, that’s how fans are, but whatever.’”
It seems some genre fans haven’t changed much. The recent experience of Obi-Wan Kenobi actress Moses Ingram is proof of that. But at least Ingram’s co-star Ewan McGregor and those behind the Star Wars franchise made it clear she had their support.
It was a different experience for Patton in the early days of The Flash.
“With the companies I was working with like CW and Warner Brothers, that [‘whatever’] was their way of handling it. I think we know better now that it’s not okay to treat your talent that way and to let them go through this abuse and harassment.”
“For me in 2014, there were no support systems. No one was looking out for that,” Patton continued. “It was free range to get abused every single day. There were no social media protocols in place to protect me, so they just let all that stuff sit there.”
Facing fan racism and alleged lack of support quickly wore her down.
“I wanted to leave the show as early as season two. I remember being like: ‘I can’t do this, I’m not gonna make it through, I’m severely unhappy.’ “
Her treatment differed from that of white actors, she said.
“It was more about the protocols in place and the things I see happening for my white counterpart that’s not happening to me,” Patton said. “Seeing how I was treated differently than other people. Seeing how I’m not protected by the network and the studio. Those were the things that not necessarily hurt me but frustrated me.”
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