Riverdale stars protest unsafe work policies, WB refutes
K.J. Apa, who plays Archie Andrews on Riverdale, was involved in a car crash last week. There was severe damage on the vehicle, but thankfully, Apa walked away with only minor injuries — he was able to resume filming the next day after getting the “all-clear” from doctors.
The cause of the accident apparently was due to long hours on set. As a result, he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
A spokesperson from Warner Bros. regarded Apa’s crash in a 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.”
In the wake of the crash, members of the close-knit Riverdale cast protested to the producers against Warner Bros.’ policy of not providing transport to-and-from the set after particularly long and exhaustive filming days. The SAG-AFTRA union launched an investigation into the incident on Thursday:
“This is an extremely troubling situation and we are deeply concerned about the safety of performers on the Riverdale set. We are sending a team to Vancouver to review the circumstances surrounding safety issues affecting performers on this production.”
Currently, Warner Bros’ policy for Riverdale and all of its series is to provide transportation upon request for all cast and crew should they feel too tired to drive at the end of the workday. It’s not uncommon for productions to stretch into late hours. A source told Variety that the WB’s policy on transportation was announced at the start of Season 2’s production and was reiterated periodically in notices attached to call sheets.
It’s understandable that everyone is a little on edge this year about on-set accidents. Earlier this year, we saw the tragic deaths of stunt workers John Bernecker on the set of The Walking Dead and SJ Harris on the set of Deadpool 2.
It also may not help that K.J. had broken his arm (hand?) back in Season 1 while filming a scene in which Archie punched his way through ice to save a drowning Cheryl.