Candice Patton of “The Flash” Talks Openly About Online Racist Attacks, Claiming CW Left Her “Unprotected”
Candice Patton is talking openly about her early days on The Flash and says that she considered quitting the show “as early as” season 2 because she was “severely unhappy.”
The 34-year-old actress delved deeply into her experience as the CW series’ lead actor and how challenging her path has been since its launch in 2014 during a talk with The Open Up Podcast’s host Elliot Knight. Iris West, a normally white character in the comics before Patton won the role, has been played by Iris West on the show from its debut.
Especially when the original character is typically played by a white woman, a Black female lead in a superhero program was practically unheard of in 2014. It was because of Patton’s casting that similar roles were later filled by Kiersey Clemons as Iris West in The Justice League and The Flash, Zendaya as Michelle Jones aka MJ in the Marvel Spider-Man movies, Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy on Riverdale, and Katy Keene, Anna Diop as Starfire on DC’s Titans, and Leslie Grace as Batgirl.
When Her Casting Was Made Public, Patton Claims that She Began to Experience Daily Racist Internet Harassment.
Her experience hasn’t been without serious drawbacks, either. Immediately after her casting was made public, Patton claims that she experienced constant racial internet harassment. Despite their persistent efforts to increase diversity on their shows, the actress alleged that neither the network nor the studio had any policies in place to safeguard her against the onslaught of abusive viewers. She claimed that The Flash’s production crew failed to prepare for the expected criticism on the internet.
According to Patton, joining the show came with “a lot of responsibility” and “a lot of attention” because it would “change how people view the superhero genre and create spaces for women of color who have never had that.” Additionally, it was “a very hazardous spot to be in when you’re one of the first and you’re experiencing so much criticism from it and there is no aid,” she added.
Moses Ingram Endured Abuse as A Result of His Casting as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Percy Jackson, and The Olympians.
Some people may remember how Leah Jeffries and Moses Ingram, two performers who played the roles of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Percy Jackson, respectively, endured persecution as a result of their castings. However, Patton asserts that she didn’t receive the production’s and their co-stars’ full online support, but both stars did.
“Though at the time it was more or less just accepted as “That’s how fans are, whatever,” today people are aware of how racist fans can be, especially in the genre (film and television). Even with the businesses I worked for, The CW and WB, that was how they handled it, “She charged. “Today, we are wiser. It’s unacceptable to treat your talent that way, to subject them to mistreatment and harassment. There were no support mechanisms available to me in 2014. There was no one watching out for that. Every day, it was free to be mistreated. They just let all that information lie there since there were no social media safety procedures in place to safeguard me.”
Continuing, Patton’s “make Me Your Lead Girl, but That’s Just Not Enough, I’ll Say
Continuing, Patton “Just having me as your lead female and bragging about how progressive we are by checking the box isn’t enough. The only drawback is that you left me in the shark-infested waters alone. Even if being near the water is wonderful, I risk being savaged to death.”
Patton’s experience was frustrating for other reasons aside from having to deal with online trolls. The actress remembered feeling like she wasn’t treated fairly compared to her non-Black coworkers. She claimed that at first, the official Flash account on Instagram didn’t follow her.
These Were the Things that Occasionally Annoyed Me but Didn’t Necessarily Hurt Me.”
“Because my check just cleared and it was quite large, Joe, I could care less what Joe in Indiana thinks. You really believe that I am interested in your tweet?” said she.
“But what affects me more is the everyday stuff. I don’t experience the protocols in place or the things I observe happening to my white peers. Given that neither the network nor the studio is doing anything to safeguard me, “She charged. These were the things that frustrated me more than they necessarily wounded me.
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Do You Think You Could Get the Flash Account to Subscribe to Me?
Do you think you could get The Flash account to follow me? I remember asking my publicist, she recalled. “Back when I was interested in that s**t and wanted to fit in.”
Working on the series was so traumatic for Patton that she can’t watch it now because of the abundance of microaggressions she experienced, including having to bring her own makeup and tools “just in case” a stylist’s only experience with Black hair was “Snoop Dogg, once,” and having to tell stories through a “white lens.”
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