As someone who identifies as an African, as a Black person, as a woman, and as a nerd, I find it difficult to address some problematic aspects or people of my own groups that I love.

I have loved The Flash since it premiered back in 2014 and have been an avid live tweeter and watcher no matter the timezone difference but of course as soon as the news that Candice Patton, a Black actress, would be portraying Iris West over a white actress, I was already ready for the hateful backlash to occur but I thought, as naively as many would, that since the show was so great and Candice and Jesse L Martin who plays her father, Joe West, were so good that the racist fans would sort of ‘ignore’ her Blackness but they never did.

While many of the rest of the women may get their backlash, Candice’s came on many fronts, where one involved many hating on her character because of their old sexist ways, or because of their old racist ways but another one was also extremely problematic for me: many hoping that Barry Allen would end up with the only other white women in the cast, Caitlin Snow, despite the plentiful comic books that pointed Barry towards Iris, hell even Patty Spivot, people still preferred Caitlin over Iris and I am not going to lie, as a Black women watching the show, seeing stuff like that online hurt but I thought that I should ignore it cause it was only a small group, only it is not. The online presence of people who ‘ship’ Caitlin Snow and Barry Allen (dubbed SnowBarry) on The Flash seems to be louder than those who appreciate the relationship that Barry and Iris have, a relationship that is predestined.

So when Grant Gustin got online to address the comments about him not defending Candice Patton from the racist trolls and fans of the show sooner, I found myself upset and I couldn’t put my finger on why. I mean I love him, Candice and the show so shouldn’t I be happy about him apologizing for not defending her online?

The answer is resounding HELL NO!

It has been 5 years. 5 years of cyber-bullying, abuse and shaming. And I am sorry but I do not stand by the bull about him ignoring negative comments because how did he see the comments that body-shamed him? How did he even see the ones calling him out for ignoring this problem? The only thought that came to mind was that maybe him and Candice are not that close off-screen like her and Keiynan Lonsdale, Wally West, or even like Emily Bett Rickards and Stephen Amell. This show isn’t like This Is Us, maybe the love is not there between the cast.

Am I disappointed? Yes, in Grant and in myself because I saw him and many of The Flash’s cast ignoring the clear hate that Candice was getting and I ignored it because I did not want to taint my view of them or the show because I love it but at the end of the day, as hard as it has been, for me as a Black woman, to see Candice struggle, I think Grant’s apology and promise to do better should have been directed towards Candice and that is why it left a bad taste in my mouth because now it just seems insincere and like an attempt to cover his ass. Sorry, but I officially don’t like him. I don’t hate. I just feel indifferent.

If anyone needs reminding about how great Iris West-Allen is check out this great article from Black Girl Nerds (Iris West-Allen: The MVP of the Arrowverse):