‘The Flash’ Star Candice Patton Says She Wanted To Leave Show “As Early As Season 2” Due To Racist Comments From Series’ Fans

Candice Patton

‘The Flash’ Star Candice Patton Says She Wanted To Leave Show “As Early As Season 2” Due To Racist Comments From Series’ Fans

Candice Patton recently opened up about her experience with online harassment after making her debut on the CW series “The Flash.”

In a recent episode of “The Open Up Podcast,” Candice Patton, who has played the female lead on the series since 2014, recalled that she wanted to leave the show “as early as season two” because she felt “severely unhappy.” The 34-year-old actress said that she received racially charged messages from fans during her early days on “The Flash.”

Candice Patton in ‘The Flash’

Candice Patton said that playing the role of a woman of color as part of a superhero genre came with a lot of backlash and there was no support from others in the workplace. Candice, who plays journalist Iris West-Allen, also noted that viewers racism toward her was shrugged off by the CW and Warner Bros. She said:

“Now 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.”

Candice 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.”

The actress alleged that in 2014, there were no “support systems” and “it was just free range to get abused every single day.” Candice explained:

“There were no social media protocols in place to protect me; they just let all that stuff sit there. It’s just not enough to make me your lead female and say, ‘Look at us, we’re so progressive, we checked the box.’ It’s great, but you’ve put me in the ocean alone around sharks.”

In order for changes to take place in Hollywood, Candice emphasized:

“There has to be people in positions of power who understand my experience and understand the Black experience, the Black female experience who can say, ‘OK, she needs protection.’”

In addition to the lack of protection, “The Flash” star said that she was not treated equally when compared to her non-Black co-workers. In the episode, Candice alleged that she was not initially followed by the official “Flash” account on Instagram. She said:

“I remember asking my publicist, I was like, ‘Do you think you could get The Flash account to follow me?’ Back when I cared about that sh*t and wanted to be included.”

Despite not feeling supported, Candice said she ultimately stayed not just because of contractual obligations, but due to feeling “a huge responsibility” given her fans “loved this character.” She shared that the next season of the CW series will “likely will be my last” so she can move forward and “break free” from a character identity she’s been “attached to for so long.”

“The Flash” is a superhero television drama based on a costumed superhero crime-fighter with the power to move at superhuman speeds. In 2017, Candice’s role as Iris West-Allen earned her a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television.

What are your thoughts on Candice Patton’s comments surrounding race in Hollywood? Let us know below!

[Sources: 1, 2, 3]

Authored by: Ariel Whitely