Candice Patton has said The CW and Warner Bros. neglected to protect her from racist and hateful fans after she debuted as Iris West on The Flash. A recent appearance was on The Open Up Podcast, Patton revealed that she received a constant barrage of online harassment shortly after her debut on the show.
According to the actor, Black women feel differently than white women. “responsibility”for the role of and faced “backlash”From fans who “can be racist.”Patton denied that the studio or network had any protections for Iris despite her playing the role for eight seasons.
“Now people understand how fans can be racist, especially in genre [film and tv], but at the time, it was kind of just like, ‘That’s how fans are, whatever,'”Patton spoke. “Even with the companies I was working with, The CW and WB, that was their way of handling it. We know better now.
“It is not okay to abuse or harass your talent. In 2014, there was no support system for me. That was not what anyone was watching out for. You could easily be abused every day. There weren’t any social media protocols in place that would protect me. They just left all that stuff there.”
“It doesn’t suffice to say “Look at us, We’re so progressive. We checked the box.”” Patton continued. “It’s amazing, but it’s made me feel unsafe around sharks. It’s great to be in water, but it can be dangerous for me to get eaten.”The star noted that she needs people in positions of power who understand her experience and the experience of Black women and who can say, “Ok, she still needs protection.”
“If you hire minorities of any type, you must be ready for them to protect you. We are not protected in real life. We are not protected just because we look glamorous in Hollywood, with our hair and makeup, and we assume that we’re safe.” As the harassment worsened while shooting Season 2 of the show, Patton said she contemplated leaving and was “Very unhappy.”
“I still remember feeling like “I can’t do this.” It’s not possible. Patton stated that she doesn’t wish to be here. She recalled that she was still observing how the studio or network did not protect her and how her coworkers treated her equally to her white colleagues.
She said that her colleagues did not help her.” her. “It was almost like, “Yeah! That’s how fans are at that time,” but Whatever,'” Patton said in the episode.
The performer also alleged she was initially not followed on Instagram by the official The Flash account. “I recall asking my publicist. I was like, “Does it sound like you could get?” The Flash account to follow me?'” she recounted. “Back when I cared about that s– and wanted to be included.” Despite feeling unsupported, Patton said she chose to stay because of contractual obligations and her sense of “huge responsibility,” adding, “This character was loved by my fans.”
“It was an iconic casting and an iconic role. I was aware of how important this was to many people and felt a responsibility not to leave a space that was potentially very toxic for me mental health.” she explained. However, Patton continued to emphasize the importance of protection, adding that in real life, “If I get pulled over at 2 a.m. in Jackson, Mississippi, by a white cop, do you think he gives a s– that I’m Candice Patton from The Flash? It doesn’t matter.”
“The world still sees us as a certain way so we need protection. I don’t feel protected if I step on a white set with everyone around me. This is not to say that everyone has bad intentions. But they do have blind spots. They can also cause me harm. It has been a learning process for both productions and companies.”
Patton has spoken out about clashing with The CW in the past. In a June 2021 interview with HypeBae, Haley described being “”Fearful to speak out” when she was told by the studio that she would not be reimbursed for using a Los Angeles salon after she failed to find one suitable in Vancouver.
According to the actress, her experiences on The Flash has improved over time. Patton is returning for the series’ ninth season but said she is unsure if the upcoming season will be her last. She is also one of three original cast members, alongside Grant Gustin (and Danielle Panabaker).