The actress has starred in the popular series since it premiered in 2014.
In a recent podcast appearance, Candice Patton opened up about her experience starring in the CW’s “The Flash,” specifically the online harassment she faced from fans.
Candice Patton attends the 47th Annual People’s Choice Awards on Dec. 7, 2021 at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images,)
Since the show premiered in 2014, Patton has starred as Iris West-Allen,” one of the most popular DC Comics television shows currently on the air. With such a massive fanbase, the internet is a major component of how fans interact and engage with the show, and not all of the comments are positive. Patton revealed that the harassment she faced from some fans online led her to want to leave the series “as early as Season 2,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“The Flash” debuted almost 10 years ago and the opportunities for women of color in the superhero genre were still very limited, which brought a particular kind of pressure for Patton, she explained. It was “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.”
Now, she said, “people understand it a little better and they understand how fans can be racist, especially in genre, misogynistic all of that, but at the time it was kind of just like, ‘That’s how fans are, but whatever’.”
She continued, “Even with the companies I was working with, the CW and WB, I think that was their way of handling it. I think we know better now. It’s not OK to treat your talent that way — to let them go through abuse and harassment.”
Patton added, “I think any time you hire anyone who is a minority of any kind you have to be prepared to protect them. Because in the real world, we are not protected. Just because you put us on a fancy Hollywood TV set or film set, with the hair and makeup and you assume we’re safe, we are not safe.”
Actress Candice Patton speaks at the 2021 Los Angeles Comic Con on Dec. 4, 2021 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)
Patton’s experience seems to be a common one for people of color who join franchises with massive fanbases. As theGrio previously reported, the Star Wars universe has dealt with this for years. For example, John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran of the sequel trilogy were confronted with vicious and often racist hatred online.
Recently, Moses Ingram from the new Disney+ series, “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” faced similar attacks. “Star Wars” released a statement supporting the actress after her personal social media accounts were flooded with hateful messages. The franchise wrote, “We are proud to welcome Moses Ingram to the ‘Star Wars’ family and excited for Reva’s story to unfold. If anyone intends to make her feel in any way unwelcome, we have only one thing to say: we resist. There are more than 20 million sentient species in the ‘Star Wars’ galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.”
Listen to the full episode of “The Open Up Podcast” featuring Candice Patton, here.
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