On November 10, 2017, news broke that the then-Supergirl and The Flash showrunner Andrew Kreisberg had been suspended by Warner Brothers following allegations of sexual harassment.
That same day, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter (of Berlanti Productions, which oversees Supergirl and The Flash) released a statement saying that they “were recently made aware of some deeply troubling allegations regarding one of our showrunners. We have been encouraging and fully cooperating with the investigation into this by Warner Bros.”
Kreisberg was ultimately fired (Nov. 29), following Warner Brothers’ investigation into the allegations, a move Berlanti says both he and Schechter approved.
But in the weeks between Kreisberg’s suspension and his firing, another CW showrunner drew attention on social media: Arrow creator Marc Guggenheim.
It’s been a little over three months since this story was originally published on Storify, but in the wake of Kreisberg’s dismissal (and since Storify is going away soon), it seemed like a good time to revisit Guggenheim’s baffling, ill-timed, and wrong-headed statements in the days following Kreisberg’s suspension.
This particular chapter of Men Facing Consequences (CW Edition) started with this Variety piece by Maureen Ryan:
Well, sort of.
The story detailed sexual harassment allegations against Kreisberg from 19 different sources, and included statements from Warner Bros., Greg Berlanti, and Sarah Schechter claiming they’d only been made aware of the allegations recently. (Not defining, of course, the period of time that “recently” covers.)
At any rate, it caused a stir in the media, in the television entertainment industry, and among the fans of Kreisberg’s shows. And it was followed by almost 24 hours of radio silence from Kreisberg’s coworkers, which — while disappointing — wasn’t entirely unexpected.
It would have been nice to see Kreisberg’s peers at least acknowledge the internal investigation, seeing as they work in the very environment he appears to have fostered. However, many of us — despite wanting a wider statement — assumed it wouldn’t happen while said investigation was ongoing.
And then, well, this happened.
Okay, not this directly. Personally I’m rooting for the all-female reboot of America. No, the spark wasn’t so much Conan’s half-joking tweet, but Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim’s response to it, just two days after Kreisberg was suspended:
Aside from being the very embodient of this GIF,
Guggenheim’s comments were (and are) both perplexing and infuriating to those of us who’ve spent any time at all interacting with the Weinsteins and Kreisbergs and Ratners of the world — of which there are very, very many.
Not All Men-ing a general joke about the toxic environments women face daily, when your work buddy has just been suspended from his high-profile job for contributing to that toxicity? At best, it was a stupid, thoughtless comment from a man who, by virtue of his position and privilege, hasn’t previously had to worry about making stupid, thoughtless comments.
And, admittedly, that’s something that pushes pretty much all of my buttons.
The thing is — this is not the first time Guggenheim said something like this. It’s not even the second or third or fourth time. And that, more than anything else, is the problem.
Because Marc Guggenheim is more like Weinstein and Kreisberg and Ratner than he’s not.
If you read the rest of this story, you’ll see what I mean.
Note: This still hasn’t changed, by the way. Arrow is well into its 6th season, Oliver and Felicity themselves have gotten married, and they’ve yet to address Nyssa’s outstanding forced marriage to Oliver.