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After fans accused The Flash star Grant Gustin (Barry Allen) of being too quiet on the topic of racist comments against co-star Candice Patton (Iris West), he made himself very clear. Gustin posted a video message to his Instagram story, emphasizing -- in case it was not obvious after five years as love interests -- that he has Patton's back. Here's what he said to fans:
I want to make a blanket statement, PSA, put it out there right now on my Instagram, if it hasn't been taken in through interviews over the years. But our Iris is an African-American actress. She is black. She is beautiful. And she is our Iris and she is always gonna be. Always has been, always will be. She is Barry's endgame and Candice Patton plays her. And she will continue to play her. And I have her back and will have her back. I'm sorry if that hasn't been clear, but that's the case. And it always will be, so that's it.
Hear, hear. To some fans, that kind of defense was a long time coming.
When The Flash premiered in 2014, some DC Comics fans took issue with a black actress in the role of Iris West, who had previously been depicted as white. Apparently some fans felt Grant Gustin didn't do enough to defend Candice Patton, since his words and popularity could've been influential in silencing racist comments.
However, the reason he made a whole video now is kind of interesting because it seemed to be tied to his support for LGBTQ rights. He posted a video the other day on Instagram supporting an LGBTQ cause and it led him to speak further.
Some The Flash fans in the comments weren't happy with Grant Gustin openly supporting LGBTQ rights and said they'd unfollow him. The conversation eventually seemed to turn toward trolls, bullying, and the racist comments Candice Patton has received since she was cast. Gustin commented on his LGBTQ post with this note on defending co-stars:
As far as defending any of my costars, I absolutely will when I see it on my page. I don’t go looking for trolls or hate about me or any of my friends or coworkers. When I see someone say something racially insensitive, straight up racist, just trolling or being a bully, I block them without hesitation. That’s the most amount of energy I’m willing to waste on an internet troll. My cast mates know I have their backs.
Along with that statement, he also posted his video message to fans through Instagram story, which was later shared by fans:
No one said being a superhero was easy. Part of Grant Gustin's job is connecting with fans, but sometimes those fans have extremely different opinions, and you can't please everyone. In this case, he's taking a strong stand to support his #1 co-star, and that's that.
After several years, The Flash fans have gotten used to -- and most love -- Candice Patton's Iris West. Viewers are excited to see what's ahead for Barry and Iris (and Nora?) in The Flash Season 6, which premieres October 8 on The CW, followed by the highly anticipated "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event. The new season just started filming -- leading Grant Gustin to have to shave, along with a new Killer Frost look for Danielle Panabaker.