Multiple women who have worked on the set of "Stranger Things" have come forward and accused the creators of the show, Matt and Ross Duffer, of being verbally abusive. Peyton Brown was the first woman to share that she had seen the Duffer brothers verbally abuse multiple women during the filming of the show. She was a grip for the show, which is someone who is in charge of building and maintaining any equipment that supports the cameras and also putting that equipment into place. Brown explained in an Instagram post that she would not be returning for the filming of season three of "Stranger Things" because of how they treated their female employees. She stated,
“There are too many amazing and highly respected men in respective positions of power that I have had the utmost pleasure of working beside. Those are the people I want to surround myself with. Those are the projects I want to be a part of. This industry is no longer led by a “few good men,” but instead by an OCEAN of ASTOUNDING WOMEN.”
After Brown made this post, she was met with a flurry of comments calling her a liar. Lori Grabowski, former Script Supervisor for "Stranger Things", saw this and made the choice to instead share her own experience and defend Brown in an Instagram post. She said that she was one of the women who had been verbally abused by the Duffer brothers and that none of what Brown had posted was a lie. Grabowski went on to explain that she had not planned on telling the world about what had happened to her until she saw the amount of hate that Brown was receiving. I think it is important to keep in mind that Grabowski may have not originally intended on coming forward because she feared her validity being questioned by the public in the same way that Brown’s was questioned.
“Due to the high-stress nature of production, tempers occasionally get frayed, and for that, we apologize. However, we think it is important not to mischaracterize our set, where we believe strongly in treating everyone fairly regardless of gender, orientation, race, religion, or anything else.”
Netflix also came to their defense and stated that they investigated the accusations that were made and did not find the Duffer brothers guilty of anything.
It is still concerning that these allegations surfaced because it is not the first time that the Duffers have been in hot water in regards to how they treat their female employees. When season two of "Stranger Things" first came out, they came under fire for joking about how they pressured Sadie Sink, the 15-year-old who plays Max on the show, to do a kissing scene. She showed up to the set not expecting to do one because it was not written in the script, so when Ross Duffer asked her if she was prepared to do the kiss, she felt stressed out and uncomfortable the entire day. Ross seemed to have enjoyed how much she was resisting the kiss because he said,
“And you [Sink] were so freaked out I was like 'oh, well, I gotta make you do it now.' That’s what happened. That’s why it’s your fault.”
Even though the Duffers apologized and Netflix claimed that they did not find any wrongdoing, we should continue to keep our eyes on this story. It is extremely unlikely that the women that have accused the Duffer brothers of being verbally abusive were lying about it because they have nothing to gain from the situation. The public’s reaction to Brown’s post is proof of that. As a fan of "Stranger Things" I would love for this to all be a misunderstanding, but the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have shown us all that the reality is that women in Hollywood are often mistreated by the men. The public should not attack Brown and the other women just because they do not want their image of "Stranger Things" to change.