'Heroes' Star Leonard Roberts Says Ali Larter Mistreated Him On Set; She Apologizes

Written by on December 17, 2020

Whereas the “Heroes” solid was busy saving the cheerleader (and the world), actor Leonard Roberts stated he was battling a racist and poisonous work surroundings behind the scenes of the favored NBC sci-fi collection.

In a first-person essay for Selection revealed on Wednesday, Roberts stated stress together with his co-star Ali Larter, who performed his on-screen love curiosity, led to his firing after the present’s debut season.

On the time, he stated government producer Dennis Hammer advised him to not “consider this as a state of affairs the place the Black man loses and the white girl wins.”

However, in line with Roberts, Larter constantly mistreated him on-set and made filming unnecessarily troublesome. He cited a very tense bed room scene early within the present’s run as emblematic of the sorts of microaggressions he stated he skilled working with Larter.

The actor, who was shirtless within the scene, recalled Larter refusing the director’s request to show her shoulders, which resulted in an “intense and loud dialog through which she expressed she had by no means been so disrespected — as an actress, a girl or a human being.”

Greatly surprised by the blowup, Roberts consulted his co-star Adrian Pasdar, who’s white, a few totally different scene through which Larter tries to seduce his character Nathan Petrelli. In hanging distinction to his expertise with Larter, he stated Pasdar as an alternative praised her “openness to collaboration and even improvisation.”

The cast of "Heroes" behind the scenes. 

The solid of “Heroes” behind the scenes. 

“I contemplated why my co-star had exuberantly performed a special scene with the Petrelli character involving overt sexuality whereas sporting lingerie, however discovered features of 1 involving love and intimacy expressed by dialogue with my character, her husband, disrespectful to her core,” Roberts wrote within the essay. “I couldn’t assist questioning whether or not race was an element.”

Roberts’ display screen time on the collection diminished because it went on, however he stated he was assured he would return as an everyday for the second season. 

As an alternative, he was unceremoniously written off the present, with collection creator Tim Kring informing him by way of a voicemail that he was fired because of the “Ali Larter state of affairs.”

His character returned for a handful of episodes to wrap up his storyline within the second season. Robert stated he was initially provided an “offensive” guest-star charge of pay, although he’d been an everyday.

Other than his personal expertise with Larter, Roberts cited an absence of variety behind the scenes, the frequency at which nonwhite characters had been killed off on the present, and a photograph shoot the place all of the Black grownup collection regulars had been positioned within the again.

“Have been the individuals I labored with racists? Even now, my intuition is to hedge, and say that I met many nice individuals whereas on ‘Heroes,’ a few of whom I nonetheless name associates,” Roberts wrote. “Or to confess I can’t communicate to what was within the hearts of the powers that be, particularly after I was not often afforded the chance to look them within the eye. However do these details, nonetheless true, negate my perception that I labored in an surroundings through which whiteness was the default and splendid? Or that it was clear my sole objective was to protect that splendid, on or off digicam, regardless of the way it compromised me as an artist, an expert and a person? They don’t.”

Noah Gray-Cabey, Leonard Roberts and Ali Larter in "Heroes."

Noah Grey-Cabey, Leonard Roberts and Ali Larter in “Heroes.”

In an announcement to TVLine on Wednesday, a “heartbroken” Larter addressed Roberts’ allegations. 

“I’m deeply saddened to listen to about Leonard Roberts’s expertise on Heroes and I’m heartbroken studying his notion of our relationship, which completely doesn’t match my reminiscence nor expertise on the present,” she stated. “I respect Leonard as an artist and I applaud him or anybody utilizing their voice and platform. I’m really sorry for any position I could have performed in his painful expertise throughout that point and I want him and his household the perfect.” 

Kring stated in his personal assertion that he ought to’ve been extra dedicated to diversifying the present’s ranks. 

“Trying again now, 14 years later, given the very totally different lens that I view the world by as we speak, I acknowledge {that a} lack of variety at higher ranges of the workers could have contributed to Leonard experiencing the shortage of sensitivity that he describes,” Kring wrote. “I’ve been dedicated to enhancing upon this subject with each mission I pursue. I bear in mind Leonard fondly and need him properly.” 

Ali Larter and Leonard Roberts played husband and wife on the hit NBC series "Heroes." 

Ali Larter and Leonard Roberts performed husband and spouse on the hit NBC collection “Heroes.” 

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