One of the stars of the NBC series Heroes has written an account of his time on the show, sparking concerns over racism among co-stars and lack of diversity.
In the series, Leonard Roberts, 48, played D. L. Hawkins, who was married to Niki — a character portrayed by Ali Larter — has disclosed anecdotes from when he was filming Heroes, including “tension” and a lack of chemistry between him and his co-star, Larter.
Ali Larter is speaking out after unflattering revelations from her Heroes co-star Leonard Roberts came to light.
She stated: “I am deeply saddened to hear about Leonard Roberts’ experience on Heroes, and I am heartbroken reading his perception of our relationship, which absolutely doesn’t match my memory nor experience on the show. I respect Leonard as an artist, and I applaud him or anyone using their voice and platform. I am truly sorry for any role I may have played in his painful experience during that time, and I wish him and his family the very best.”
Roberts was hired for the series, but later it was written into the script that he would be killed off after just one season and 17 episodes.
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests this year, Roberts decided to speak out and question whether racism had a part to play in his departure.
Creator of the series, Tim Kring, told Roberts at the time that he and Larter lacked on-screen chemistry and his character would be leaving the show.
Roberts recalls occasions where Larter would complain of being “disrespected” when asked to lower her top during a scene with her on-screen husband, but did not seem to have a problem with a similar scene alongside co-star Adrian Pasdar.
In another instance, Roberts and Larter appeared on the cover of Entertainment Weekly but performed worse than their counterparts who were appearing on other magazines — a result which Larter seemed to blame on Roberts.
Following the essay penned by Roberts, Kring has acknowledged that the lack of diversity in the show could have contributed to the tension and bad experience of the actor.
Roberts shared his feelings of “anger,” “shame” and “fear” — emotions which many others have expressed this year amid protests against racism.
Kring said in a statement to Variety: “Looking back now, 14 years later, given the very different lens that I view the world through today, I acknowledge that a lack of diversity at the upper levels of the staff may have contributed to Leonard experiencing the lack of sensitivity that he describes. I have been committed to improving upon this issue with every project I pursue. I remember Leonard fondly and wish him well.”
Ten people, who were close to the drama series, have confirmed Roberts’s account of his experience on the show.
Larter, who was very active on Instagram, has taken a break from the platform since the scandal hit.