Candice Patton on Representation and the Profound Impact of Playing Iris on The Flash

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Candice Patton has developed a strong fan base for her role as Iris West-Allen on The Flash, but she’s also had to deal with a fair amount of haters. Since getting cast as Iris, the actress has dealt with a ton of unwarranted harassment for portraying a character who was white in the comics. During POPSUGAR Play/Ground last year, Candice opened up about how she’s overcome the hate while chatting with POPSUGAR’s Kirbie Johnson during the Screen Queens panel with fellow CW stars Ashleigh Murray, Vanessa Morgan, and Caity Lotz.

“Comic book fans are very opinionated [and] very vocal,” she explained. “So it was very scary stepping into that role when I started the show.” She recalled that one of the producers actually warned her to not go online after she was cast due to all the negative comments. While it wasn’t easy dealing with the harassment at first, it did get better eventually. “Over time, people have embraced me and embraced this character, and I know it’s really important,” she said. “What’s great is that in years to come, people will remember Iris West as being African American.”

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