Protests over actors' lack of provided transportation have occurred on the set of CW hit Riverdale after star KJ Apa was in a early morning car accident following a routine 16-hour work day, Cosmopolitan reports. Responsible for driving himself home, Apa fell asleep at the wheel during his 45-minute commute last week, hitting a light pole with his car. Although he was unharmed, Apa's car was completely destroyed, raising questions of Riverdale actors' safety.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Apa's costar Cole Sprouse was reportedly supposed to ride with him that night, but changed his plans at the last minute. Thank goodness he wasn't with Apa, as the car's passenger side was totaled in the crash. Although it's apparently common for TV cast and crew members outside of the United States to drive themselves to set, Sprouse is now asking for Riverdale production to provide transportation for those working late into the night. The show and its cast shot to a crazy level of fame after premiering this year, but it seems that such success has led to a pretty pressuring work environment.
"They're working these kids from morning until night," a source told THR. "Someone's going to die."
In response to the controversy, Warner Bros. Television released two statements clarifying details of the team's work situation. "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," the first message read. "This is communicated to all cast and crew...and is reiterated continously throughout the duration of production."
The second statement disputed initial reports of Apa's work schedule on the day of the accident, perhaps suggesting that the incident going public has caused tension between Apa and Warner Bros. "Our actors do not work every day," the statement said after expressing gratitude for Apa's lack of injuries. "On the day of the accident, KJ worked 14.2 hours. The previous day he worked 2.5 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 statement also revealed that first responders tended to Apa at the scene of the accident and that production sent a doctor to his home later that day, just in case. Despite the studio's own remarks, SAG-AFTRA, the actors' union, will investigate the case. "This is an extremely troubling situation and we are deeply concerned about the safety of performers on the Riverdale set,” an union statement read. “We are sending a team to Vancouver to review the circumstances surrounding safety issues affecting performers on this production."
Neither Apa nor Sprouse has publicly commented on the issue yet, but it's clear that as Riverdale prepares for its Oct. 11 return, the well-being of its actors will be closely observed.