‘Riverdale’ Star K.J. Apa Involved In Car Crash After Reportedly Working 16 Hours Straight
Riverdale star K.J. Apa, 20, was involved in a late-night car accident after working a 16-hour shift for the show.
K.J. APA IN LATE NIGHT CAR ACCIDENT
The actor apparently fell asleep at the wheel and drove his vehicle into a light pole. It was reported that he was taken to the hospital for observation and was released without any serious injuries. His car, however, was deemed inoperable, and the passenger side was completely crushed by the pole.
Apa plays Archie in the Warner Bros.-produced adaptation of Archie Comics. The crash has incited a wave of protests. Riverdale regularly shoots into the morning hours, and does not provide the cast and crew with transportation home. Cole Sprouse, who co-stars as Jughead, was apparently planning to get a ride home with Apa, but changed his plans last minute. Sprouse has now jumped into action to ask the series to provide transportation for castmembers working late hours.
SAG-AFTRA is now investigating the incident in Vancouver. “This is an extremely troubling situation and we are deeply concerned about the safety of performers on the Riverdale set,” read a statement released by the union. “We are sending a team to Vancouver to review the circumstances surrounding safety issues affecting performers on this production.”
Warner Bros. Television has a policy that actors are responsible for their own transportation to and from set, especially when shooting outside the U.S. The studio does shoot several series in Vancouver, and they declined to comment on this particular instance. A source notes, however, that cast and crew are allowed to call a cab or book a hotel room if they feel unfit to drive, and pay with the company card.
This incident is just the latest in a string of safety-related accidents on Hollywood productions. Veteran stuntman John Bernecker fell 22 feet to his death on set of The Walking Dead last month. Following that, motorcycle racer S.J. Harris died in a crash filming Deadpool 2. And in 2015, a plane crashed killing two pilots and wounding a third while filming Tom Cruise action flick American Made.
Warner Bros. has commented on the accident involving Apa, and claim that he was not fresh off a 16-hour shift. “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,” a WBTV spokesperson said in a statement. “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,” the statement continued. “Productions adhere to the Screen Actors Guild–mandated turnaround time of 12 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.”