After news broke yesterday that Riverdale actor KJ Apa was involved in a late-night car accident after falling asleep at the wheel while driving home after working a 16-hour day, Warner Bros. Television has spoken out about the allegations that the cast and crew are required to provide their own transportation to and from set even though they frequently work into the early morning hours.
“The safety of the cast and crew on all of our productions is of paramount importance to the Studio,” a studio spokesperson said. “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.”
“First and foremost, we are extremely grateful that KJ Apa was uninjured during his recent accident,” the studio said. “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.”
Variety has also reported that SAG-AFTRA, a union for American actors, will be investigating the conditions of the Riverdale set.
“This is an extremely troubling situation and we are deeply concerned about the safety of performers on the ‘Riverdale’ set,” the union said. “We are sending a team to Vancouver to review the circumstances surrounding safety issues affecting performers on this production. We have no further comment at this time.”
Riverdale season 2 will premiere Oct. 11 on The CW.