The safety conditions for cast and crew members working in B.C.'s flourishing television and film industry are, for the second time in about a month, under scrutiny after a star crashed a vehicle following a 14-hour work day near Vancouver.
K.J. Apa, the actor who plays Archie in the series Riverdale, crashed Sept 14., according to Warner Bros. Television. First responders treated him at the scene and he did not have to go to hospital, the production company said. However, SAG-AFTRA, the union which represents roughly 160,000 actors, announcers, stunt specialists and other entertainers, intends to investigate the incident.
"This is an extremely troubling situation and we are deeply concerned about the safety of performers on the Riverdale set," Pamela Greenwalt, a spokeswoman for SAG-AFTRA, said in a statement. "We are sending a team to Vancouver to review the circumstances surrounding safety issues affecting performers on this production." The spokesperson did not respond to further questions.
A motorcycle stunt performer was killed on the set of Deadpool 2 in Vancouver last month, after overshooting her landing and hitting a curb, according to a preliminary report from B.C.'s occupational-safety organization.
WorkSafeBC said it does not have jurisdiction to review Mr. Apa's after-hours crash.
The back-to-back incidents come as B.C.'s motion-picture production industry booms. Motion-picture production expenditures reached a record $2.6-billion in the province in fiscal 2016-2017, according to figures B.C.'s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture released Saturday.
That is up 35 per cent from $1.9-billion in 2015-2016, the government said.
The Hollywood Reporter last week detailed Mr. Apa's crash, saying the actor fell asleep on the 45-minute commute from the set.
Mr. Apa, according to The Hollywood Reporter, hit a light pole, destroying the passenger side of the vehicle.
Warner Bros., in a statement released in response to Mr. Apa's crash, said it provides transportation when asked.
"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," the statement said.
"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 company also said it adheres to the Screen Actors Guild-mandated "turnaround time of 12 hours from wrap time to next day call time for cast members."
Warner Bros. also disputes the "characterization that conditions on the set of Riverdale are of concern." Mr. Apa, the company said, worked 14.2 hours the day of his crash, 2.5 hours the day prior and 7.7 hours the day before that.
"K.J. 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 production company also said it sent a doctor to Mr. Apa's home after the crash to "confirm his well-being."