Details reveal that Deadpool 2 stuntwoman's death could have been prevented

2017-08-24 11:56

Cape Town – More details have emerged surrounding the death of Deadpool 2 stuntwoman, SJ Harris.

Harris died after an accident on set last week. (Read more here)

According to The Hollywood Reporter  several crew members warned producers that Harris was not ready to perform the stunt. 

The 40-year-old professional racer had never worked on a film before and lacked the experience.

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The stunt involved driving a motorcycle out the open doors of a building, across a concrete pad and down a ramp that had been built over three stairs before coming to a stop.

Vulture further reports that she had crashed during her practice runs however, producers were adamant to have her perform the stunt because she was African-American and a suitable stand-in for Zazie Beetz who plays Dominio.

A stunt performer who had been training Harris told The Hollywood Reporter that although she was improving, "I thought, ‘It’s just a matter of time before she crashes into a wall or runs somebody over.’”

According to a source the movie's producers were alerted about the stunt team's concerns but they were ignored. 

Veteran stunt coordinator Conrad Palmisano has been in touch with various people who were on set that day.

He says that producers "put pressure to have somebody of the same sex and ethnicity in a position she wasn’t qualified to be in and that the stunt team caved to the pressure."

The accident has brought more attention the lack of diversity in the film industry. 

The crew said that Harris was brought in after the original stunt person hired struggled to perform the stunt during rehearsals.

Vanity Fair reports that studios have in the past been called out for hiring white performers for black actors and darkening their skin with make-up in a process called "painting down". 

Darnell Hunt, who works on the annual Hollywood Diversity Report says,"if the movie’s producers had to go outside of the normal stunt community to find someone who was both qualified and resembles the actress, that speaks to a problem of lack of diversity of stunt performers."

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