Duffer brothers apologise after accusations of verbal abuse on Stranger Things set

The duo behind the Netflix hit have issued a statement after a former crew member accused them of verbal abusing ‘multiple women’ while on the set

The Duffer brothers, the duo behind Netflix’s nostalgia-filled hit Stranger Things, have apologised after a former crew member accused them of verbally abusing multiple women on the set of the show’s upcoming third season.

In a now-deleted Instagram post, Peyton Brown, who worked on multiple episodes of the show, said the Duffers yelled, threatened and forced some crew members to quit the project due to the atmosphere created on set.

“I personally witnessed two men in high positions of power on that set seek out and verbally abuse multiple women,” Brown wrote. “I promised myself that if I were ever in a situation to say something that I would. TIME IS UP.”

The Duffers responded on Sunday with a statement that said they were “deeply upset to learn that someone felt uncomfortable on our set”, adding that because of the “high-stress nature of production, tempers occasionally get frayed, and for that, we apologise”. The brothers then qualified the statement, saying: “We think it is important not to mischaracterise our set.

“We believe strongly in treating everyone fairly regardless of gender, orientation, race, religion, or anything else. We remain totally committed to providing a safe and collaborative working environment for everyone on our productions.”

Netflix also released a statement, which said it found no wrongdoing by the Duffers: “We looked into the concern that was raised when we heard of the allegation on Thursday, and found no wrongdoing. Maintaining a safe, respectful atmosphere on set is important to us, and we know it is to the Duffer brothers as well.”

Matt and Ross Duffer experienced overnight success with Stranger Things. Launched with little promotion in the summer of 2016, it became one of Netflix’s most-talked about original shows, making a star of Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven, and achieving three Emmy nominations.

Speaking to the Guardian, the duo described how they took their love of 80s films, directed by the likes of Steven Spielberg, and turned it into a contemporary show.

“What Spielberg did in the 80s was he took these kind of B-movie ideas, like flying saucers or killer sharks, and he elevated it,” they said. “In this new medium, can we go back and try and do a little of what he did, take something that’s been relegated to being cheesy, and can you do an elevated version of that?”

The show’s third season is currently in production.


Lanre Bakare

The GuardianTramp

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