Screenshots from Riverdale
The cast and crew of the CW’s Riverdale are currently in a battle with corporate execs in order to get better safety after lead actor K.J. Apa got into a car accident last week.
20-year-old K.J. Apa, who plays Archie in the Warner Bros.-produced tv adaption of Archie Comics, got into a crash while driving home from a shoot that went on past midnight.
During the 45-minute drive home, Apa apparently fell asleep and hit a lightening pole. He was taken to the nearest hospital and was shortly discharged due to non-serious wounds. His car however was not so lucky as the entire front passenger side was caved in making the car inoperable.
Even scarier is the fact that co-star Cole Sprouse who plays Jughead almost rode home with Apa before eventually settling on a different way to his house. If he had been in the car, this situation could have been deadly.
After this incident, Sprouse has gathered cast and crew together to demand that proper transportation be given to workers, with their main focus on actors, staying for extremely late hours.
Warner Bros.’s rule is that cast and crew are to find their own transportation home especially when shooting outside the U.S. (Riverdale is shot in Vancouver). In addition, sources for the Hollywood reporter state that if actors feel unsafe to drive they are welcome to call a taxi or stay at a hotel near the shooting site on the studio’s dime.
Despite that, rumors are that there has been a meeting called between castmembers and Warner Bros. executives, but Warner Bros has declined to confirm this to the Hollywood Reporter. In addition, they refused to confirm the claim that K.J. Apa had worked a sixteen hour workday prior to the accident.
Image via Camila Mendes's Instagram
Instead, they released the following statement.
“First and foremost, we are extremely grateful that KJ Apa was uninjured during his recent accident. Secondarily, we want to specifically address the characterization that conditions on the set of Riverdale are of concern. We have a large cast of series regulars, and our actors do not work every day. On the day of the accident, KJ worked 14.2 hours. The previous day he worked 2.5 hours, and the day before that he worked 7.7 hours. KJ has repeatedly been informed about making production aware if he is tired or feels unsafe, and if so, either a ride or hotel room will be provided for him. The accident occurred last Thursday. Additionally, it is untrue that KJ was taken to the hospital. He was treated by first responders on the scene and released by them. We also sent a doctor to his home later that same day for a follow-up to confirm his well-being.
The safety of the cast and crew on all of our productions is of paramount importance to the Studio. Productions adhere to the Screen Actors Guild–mandated turnaround time of 12 hours from wrap time to next day call time for cast members. In accordance with industry standard policy, if any cast or crew member feels tired or unsafe at any time after working, the Studio will provide a taxi, a driver or a hotel room upon request. This is communicated to all cast and crew, both in writing and verbally, at the beginning of production and is reiterated continuously throughout the duration of production.”
While WBTV continues to dodge questions and resolve the issue in private, cast and crew continues to raise a stir about the incident/issue and the actors union SAG-AFTRA has started its own investigation at the set.
"This is an extremely troubling situation and we are deeply concerned about the safety of performers on the Riverdale set," said part of the statement, "We are sending a team to Vancouver to review the circumstances surrounding safety issues affecting performers on this production."
In the meantime, both Apa and Sprouse are safe, healthy, and joking around on set as investigations and meetings continue.
Image via Cole Sprouse's Instagram