EntertainmentCreator of Netflix's 'The Umbrella Academy' faces misconduct allegations

Creator of Netflix's 'The Umbrella Academy' faces misconduct allegations

The creator of "The Umbrella Academy" refutes allegations
The creator of "The Umbrella Academy" refutes allegations
Images source: © Press materials
Magdalena Drozdek

2 July 2024 14:36

The creator of the Netflix series "The Umbrella Academy" has been accused of creating a toxic atmosphere on set and making vulgar comments about his colleagues. Steve Blackman responds.

"The Umbrella Academy" is a Netflix hit. The first season was shown in 2019. In the same year, the platform boasted that the new production was watched by 45 million users, thus breaking popularity records. The second season did just as well. It was reported that the 2020 season had a viewership of 43 million and ranked sixth among Netflix's most popular content, following "The Queen's Gambit" and "Ratched". In August 2024, the fourth season of the supernatural siblings' adventures is set to premiere.

Creator of "The Umbrella Academy" accused

As reported by "The Rolling Stone" journalists, Steve Blackman, the screenwriter who co-created "The Umbrella Academy" with Jeremy Slater, has been accused of discriminating against women. Up to 12 colleagues lodged complaints against him with Blackman's employers. An official complaint was filed at the beginning of 2023. Universal Content Productions conducted its investigation, which—according to "The Rolling Stone"—exonerated him.

Among the accusations was a complaint from one of the writers who went on maternity leave during production on one of the seasons of "The Umbrella Academy". Blackman was reportedly furious that she did not inform him that she knew she was pregnant when she was hired. When the writer returned from maternity leave, she found out she no longer had a job. Reports suggest that Blackman fired people without specific grounds merely because they disagreed with him.

Blackman is also accused of being "sexist, homophobic, and transphobic". The content of one of the text messages he sent concerning Elliot Page was revealed. Recall that in the third season, the transgender actor's character also undergoes a gender transition and appears as Viktor instead of Vanya. Blackman reportedly wrote: "Elliot wants to come out as trans on the show. As Ivan. Oh my fucking God. Kill me now."

The show creator stated his managers: "Over six years and four seasons overseeing thousands of crew, actors, and writers, Steve Blackman led The Umbrella Academy to become a beloved series with devoted fans, enthralling stories, and a dedicated team making it all possible. These allegations from a handful of disgruntled employees are completely false and outrageous, and in no way reflect the collaborative, respectful, and successful working environment Mr. Blackman has cultivated."

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