Yesterday news came to light that “Riverdale” leading man K.J. Apa was involved in a car accident – the 20-year-old actor falling asleep at the wheel after working a sixteen-hour day filming the show’s second season in Vancouver.
The actor escaped with only minor injuries, but the car was totalled and the accident has understandably raised concerns about on-set safety – especially as co-star Cole Sprouse had apparently planned to be in the car as well that night but changed plans at the last minute.
The show reportedly routinely requires shoots that last until the early morning hours, and the cast and crew are not provided transportation to and from the set.
In the wake of the crash, members of the close-knit cast have protested to producers against Warner Bros.’ policy, while the SAG-AFTRA union has also launched an investigation into the incident saying in a statement:
“This is an extremely troubling situation and we are deeply concerned about the safety of performers on the Riverdale set. 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.”
Despite this though, Warners has now issued a statement refuting allegations of safety issues caused by the studio’s transport policy:
“First and foremost, we are extremely grateful that KJ Apa was uninjured during his recent accident. 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.
The safety of the cast and crew on all of our productions is of paramount importance to the Studio. Productions adhere to the Screen Actors Guild–mandated turnaround time of twelve 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.
The accident comes in the wake of tragic incidents on the sets of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and “Deadpool 2” where stunt workers lost their lives due to on-set accidents.