SJ Harris, a stuntwoman performing a motorcycle stunt on the set of Deadpool 2 died after striking the front of a building. Harris was not wearing a helmet.
Deadpool 2 Faces Tragedy
Tragedy struck the set of Deadpool 2 Monday morning. A stuntwoman ran into a building during a motorcycle stunt and died. Authorities investigated the situation following a call from the set. WorkSafeBC worked with Vancouver police to determine hazards leading to the incident and identified the woman as SJ Harris. Production on the film is set to resume on Wednesday morning.
SJ Harris was the first black female road racer in the United States. She was brought onto the production last Wednesday as a stunt double for the character Domino. Deadline is reporting Harris did not have a helmet on during the stunt. The previous performer did have a fitted helmet on under the Domino wig, but Harris “did not have time” to have a helmet fitted before filming the stunt.
These events are always tragic. However, if the above is true, the people responsible have blood on their hands, plain and simple. Movies shoot on tight schedules all the time. It is never okay to sacrifice another human being’s safety for the sake of a release date.
The Deadpool films feature a fun-loving, reckless tone. But, that is all done with tongue firmly in cheek. Ryan Reynolds & Co. certainly, care about the property. And that led to the brilliant marketing campaign that made the first film one of the highest grossing R-rated films ever. But, that kind of devil may care attitude cannot seep into the folks in charge of production.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 14, 2017
Movies are big, complicated contraptions. Even the smallest productions feature countless moving parts. But these big, effects driven spectacles feature a multitude of other moving parts. The amount of team work required to successfully pull off a production is unfathomable. But, the failure of that machine on a stunt driven film can be fatal.
No, this is not the first death on a television or movie set. Just last month, stuntman John Bernecker was killed on the set of The Walking Dead. But, if this proves true, the disregard for human life surrounding the production of Deadpool 2 is going to (rightly) tarnish the film’s reputation forever. Yes, SJ Harris could have said something. But this was her first movie. This could have been her big break. She was the new person in the office and eager to please. The show must go on, but not at the cost of a human being’s life.