Candice Patton is getting candid about her early days on The Flash.
via: Page Six
As the female lead of DC-Universe series “The Flash,” Candice Patton was left to fend for herself upon meeting a barrage of racially charged vitriol spewed toward her by the comic-book superhero’s fanbase after the show’s premiere on the CW in 2014, and she discussed her experiences on the debut episode of “The Open Up Podcast.”
While she mentions taking the role as journalist-turned-superhero dispatcher Iris West in “The Flash” out of interest in the part and a need to “pay rent,” Patton, now 34, quickly discovered how “all this stuff comes with it. And you’re changing the way people view the superhero genre, and creating spaces for women of color that have never had that. And it’s a lot of responsibility. It’s a lot of tension. It comes with a lot.
“And it’s also a very dangerous place to be in when you’re one of the first and you’re receiving so much backlash from it. And there is no help,” she continued. “Now, people understand it a little better. And they understand how fans can be racist, especially in the genre, misogynistic, all of that.”
On Warner Bros. and the CW’s response “at the time,” she recalled, “It was kind of like, ‘Yeah, that’s how fans are, but whatever.’”
“There were no social media protocols in place to protect me. They just let all that stuff sit there,” she added of online harassment in particular.
“It’s just not enough to make me your lead female and say, ‘Look at us, we’re so progressive, we check the box,’ … It’s great, but it’s like you’ve put me in the ocean alone, around sharks,” she continued.
“It’s great to be in the ocean, but I could get eaten alive out here,” she said. “Just because you put us in a fancy Hollywood TV set or film set with the hair and makeup and you assume we’re safe. We’re not safe.”
Though the abuse had gotten bad enough to make her consider leaving the show by Season 2, she ultimately stayed on and will begin filming Season 9 of “The Flash” this summer.