UPDATE, 2:47 PM: Warner Bros. Television is “extremely grateful that Riverdale star K.J. Apa was uninjured after his recent car crash en route from the set but warns that the accident could have been avoided.
The studio’s statement comes hours after details were revealed about an early-morning accident involving Apa. Filming in Vancouver, the actor who plays Archie Andrews in the CW drama hit a lamp post on the way home from a long day of filming. Although stressing safety concerns and working conditions, WBTV also cautioned that while Apa had a long day on September 14, just before the crash occurred, he had a much lighter filming schedule the day before. It also emphasized, as Deadline reported earlier, there were other options for Apa than driving home alone if he was tired.
Either way, the actor was unscathed and production was not interrupted on Riverdale, which kicks off its second season October 11 on the CW.
Here is WBTV’s full statement:
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.
PREVIOUSLY, 11:41 AM: A recent solo car crash in Vancouver involving Riverdale star KJ Apa left the actor unhurt, and production has not been delayed. The accident occurred in the early hours a few days ago on his way home from filming on the Vancouver-based CW and Warner Bros TV, and comes less than a month before series premieres its second season October 11.
The New Zealand-born Apa crashed into a lamp post in a rented car, sources say. After being attended by medical personnel at the scene, he was released with no injuries.
An insider tells Deadline that a conference call between WBTV and reps for key Riverdale cast is set for Friday afternoon to discuss the incident and address safety concerns surrounding potential long hours on set.
According to a source close to the Riverdale production, standard industry options made available to on-location cast and crew include that anyone can request a hotel room, a taxi or a driver if they are feeling tired after a long day. The insider said Apa did not request transportation nor did he tell anyone he was tired.
WBTV had no comment when contacted by Deadline. Apa stars as Archie in the soapy drama series based on the Archie Comics. Apa’s agency UTA also had no comment on the incident.
This is the second incident to occur during a Vancouver production in recent months, following the death of stuntwoman Joi Harris on the set of Deadpool 2.
Long hours on TV and movie sets has been an issue in Hollywood for years. A recent BMJ study found that working in jobs with overtime schedules was associated with a 61% higher injury-hazard rate compared to non-OT jobs.
The danger was something the late filmmaker Haskell Wexler fought to spotlight all his professional life after camera assistant Brent Hershman was killed in 1997 after he fell asleep at the wheel and slammed his car into a utility pole while driving home from a job after working a 19-hour day – which had been preceded by four 15-hour days.
Wexler took out an ad in Variety calling for the “humane treatment of humans,” and a petition campaign was launched to lobby for “Brent’s Rule” – a maximum 14-hour workday.