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After working a reported grueling 16-hour work day just outside of Vancouver, Canada, the star of the CW’s Riverdale, KJ Apa who plays Archie Andrews, was involved in a late-night car accident to which he fell asleep at the wheel during his 45-minute trip home, instantly striking a light pole. KJ was immediately rushed to a local hospital for observation, and was later discharged without any serious injuries. His car, however, is said to be totaled, due to the entire passenger side being completely destroyed after hitting the light pole.
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the crash has prompted the cast and crew of the CW show to demand better safety protections during production, and has sparked a firestorm of protest on the Riverdale set. The show regularly requires shoots that last far past midnight, and that WBTV’s current policy is that actors are responsible for their own transportation to and from set, particularly when production is shooting outside the U.S.
The studio declined to comment, but a source notes that actors are told they can call a taxi or stay in a hotel near a set on the studio’s dime if they feel it is unsafe to drive. It was also noted that Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead Jones, was initially planning on driving home with KJ, but changed plans at the last minute. The publication also reported that Cole has apparently asked the show’s producers to provide transportation to and from set during late hours, which actually goes against production’s policy.
KJ’s accident is just the latest in a string of unfortunate safety-related incidents that exemplify unsafe working conditions on Hollywood productions. Stunt professionals and others in the industry have been clamoring for improvements to their working conditions, before and after incidents on the set of The Walking Dead when stuntman John Bernecker fell 22 feet to his death after falling off a balcony during a rehearsal, and less than a month later, professional motorcycle racer S.J Harris was involved in fatal crash during filming for Deadpool 2.
As we’re all aware, the cast of Riverdale is a tight-knit group, which many believe contributed to the increased sense of anger among them following the crash and the responses to it. One source familiar with the production and the conditions also spoke out saying, “They’re working these kids from morning until night. Someone’s going to die.”
Thankfully KJ walked away with minor, non-life threatening injuries, and we can only hope that this incident raises awareness and causes some major action to be taken regarding the unsafe working conditions. We know how hard these guys work for their fans, so right now, be sure to share any well wishes for KJ and his loved ones down here in the comments, and be sure to subscribe for the any updates. I’m your host Joslyn Davis reporting from Clevver HQ, and I’ll see you next time.
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