Controversial allegations have emerged in the aftermath of last week’s fatality on a Vancouver movie set.
Last week, Joi Harris, an American roadracer, was killed after a motorcycle stunt went wrong on the set of the second Deadpool movie, which was filming in British Columbia. Reports indicate Harris was not wearing a helmet.
That’s not surprising. Even if it’s not smart, many stunt performers will work without a helmet, if they’re directed to.
However, the Hollywood Reporter is making several more severe allegations, which are not all backed up by named sources. According to the Reporter, its sources claim Harris got the job not due to experience – it was her first stunt job – but because, as a black female, she was similar to the actress she was standing in for.
“The producers put pressure to have somebody of the same sex and ethnicity in a position she wasn’t qualified to be in,” the Reporter quotes stunt coordinator Conrad Palmisano as saying. “The stunt coordinators caved to the pressure. All the stunt people could do was take it to their higher-ups. They’re going to follow their chain of command.”
The Reporter says its sources claimed Harris was the second rider hired for the stunt, after the first hire’s skills weren’t up to the job. The article also says Harris’s riding scared the crew; she crashed the bike even before her fatal accident, and one of the Reporter’s sources actually left the movie set after warning management about the danger.
The Reporter says Fox and director David Leitch did not comment on the allegations. WorksafeBC’s investigation is ongoing.
Sounds like a tragic ‘comedy’ of errors, from the politically correct producers pushing an affirmative action agenda (female, black) to an inexperienced, first time stunt ‘woman’ not being able to refuse a patently dangerous stunt lest she permanently destroy her fledgling career in the movie industry. Bad decisions made all around. With available post production CGI/editing , no reason for any of this to have occurred. Very sad.
There is the question of personal responsibility here. I doubt if anyone put a gun to her head and *forced* Ms Harris to do the stunt. A stunt driver/rider is the ultimate judge of how dangerous a particular stunt might be. If he (or she) thinks it’s too dangerous, he/she can simply refuse and let someone else do it. And if a stunter gets fired for failing to attempt a particular trick, that’s better that dying, or being crippled for life.
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