‘Umbrella Academy’ Co-Creator Steve Blackman Reported As ‘Bully’

Steve Blackman - Umbrella Academy - Netflix - After Buzz

While The Umbrella Academy is a huge hit for Netflix, now it comes with allegations of toxicity. Notably, the co-creator and showrunner, Steve Blackman, is praised for his masterful design of turning the graphic novel into a witty TV series. However, now fans are wondering about the conditions the actors, writers, and staff endured to bring it to fruition.

Steve Blackman Reported As A ‘Bully’

Although The Umbrella Academy is highly anticipated with its fourth and final season coming very soon, fans are sad to hear Steve Blackman is accused of inappropriate behavior. Reportedly, The Umbrella Academy showrunner is facing charges for his unfit treatment of the show writers and staff. Likewise, twelve former writers and support staffers detail in human resources complaints from January 2023 that Steve had a “long history of toxic, bullying, manipulative and retaliatory behavior.”

Steve Blackman - Umbrella Academy - Netflix - After Buzz
Steve Blackman – The Umbrella Academy – Netflix – After Buzz – YouTube

Steve Blackman Accused Of Long History Of Toxic, Bullying, Manipulative, And Retaliatory Behavior

In like fashion, reports say that Steve Blackman often would fire or reduce the role of anyone who didn’t follow his lead. Furthermore, claims say that Steve would cite “budget cuts” were the reason behind why someone was “let go” after standing up to him. Likewise, he would blame it on the “studio’s decision” and then remove the staffer. Additionally, some describe his demeanor as “hot and cold.” Although he would be complimentary in front of an employee, he might belittle them behind their backs with other staffers. Likewise, he would implement ideas without giving the proper credit to the person it was due.

The Umbrella Academy Season 3 on Netflix
The Umbrella Academy Season 3 on Netflix [Steve Blackman Image @steveblackmantv/Instagram]
Although those were some of the accusations, they are among others. Some of the reports say Steve Blackman was often homophobic, transphobic, lewd, and/or sexist with the crew. For instance, one claim references a text message discussion reviewed by human resources about Elliot Page. Within the 2023 complaint, it stated he wrote to an undisclosed recipient, “Elliot [Page] wants to come out as trans on the show. As Ivan. Oh my f—king God. Kill me now.”

Steve Blackman’s Representative Speaks

According to Rolling Stone, a representative for Steve Blackman clarified the text message irritation. They say it was merely from the work it would take to rewrite Elliot’s character from Vanya to Viktor Hargreeves throughout Season 3. Since scripts were already complete it would take time and effort to make the changes. Likewise, the spokesperson says Steve wasn’t intending to show a lack of support for Elliot. Notably, it was during the transgender actor’s personal transition. Instead, during Season 3, Steve interviewed with TVLine saying he is “really proud” of how the show handled Elliot’s transition. Furthermore, he said he had a desire to tell a “pro-trans, authentic, sensitive” story.

Steve Blackman credits the crew after a series of wraps for The Umbrella Academy Season 4. - Instagram
Steve Blackman credits the crew after a series of wraps for The Umbrella Academy Season 4. – Instagram

In Spring 2023, Universal Content Productions, the production company behind The Umbrella Academy, started an investigation into the claims against Steve Blackman. Only to find the claims that Steve made “inappropriate and unprofessional remarks” and spoke with “foul and derogatory language” were verified.

‘Completely False And Outrageous’

Additionally, Steve Blackman’s rep tells Rolling Stone, “Over six years and four seasons overseeing thousands of crew, actors, and writers, Steve Blackman led The Umbrella Academy to become a beloved series with devoted fans, enthralling stories, and a dedicated team making it all possible.” Then, they adamantly defend Steve, “These allegations from a handful of disgruntled employees are completely false and outrageous, and in no way reflect the collaborative, respectful, and successful working environment Mr. Blackman has cultivated.”

The Umbrella Academy is coming back for its final season. - Instagram
The Umbrella Academy is coming back for its final season. – Instagram

The final season of The Umbrella Academy is returning on August 8, 2024, on Netflix.


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What do you think about Steve Blackman’s allegations? Do you believe there is more to the story? Do you think it is truly a “handful of disgruntled employees”? Or do these complaints just scratch the surface? Are you looking forward to seeing the final season of The Umbrella Company? Drop your comments below.

Bonnie Kaiser-Gambill

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