In lieu of the ongoing protests to bring a change in the world we live in, actor Hartley Sawyer has been fired from CW’s The Flash because of his several racist & misogynist tweets that have resurfaced from the past. Hartley Sawyer began playing Ralph Dibny aka Elongated Man on The Flash in Season 4. We saw him last in Season 6, but he will not be returning from Season 7.
Sawyer’s twitter account is not active anymore, but images of his tweets from the years 2012, 2014 have been floating around the internet. Here are a few examples –
“Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today.”
“As a lad, one of my favorite activities was kidnapping homeless women and cutting off their breasts.”
“If I had a wife I would beat the hell out of her tonight lol.”
“The only thing keeping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me.”
Whatever the reason for these tweets was, this hate speech is certainly not acceptable on a social media platforms, or anywhere for that matter. Sawyer isn’t the first person to get fired because of his past behavior. Back in 2018, big-name MCU director James Gunn was also fired for his tweets over 9 years ago. But people from Disney stayed in touch with him and saw how he was a changed man, and decided that Gunn deserved a second chance. But Sawyer’s case is not the same. And his situation is very different as his tweets have resurfaced at a time when the world is already outraged by similar kinds of behaviors.
The Flash Showrunner Eric Wallace issued a statement on twitter. He wrote:
“This morning, many of you learned that Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash. Concerning his social media tweets, they broke my heart and made me mad as hell. And they’re indicative of the larger problem in our country. Because at present, our country still accepts and protects the continual harassment — unconscious or otherwise — terrorizing and brutalizing of Black and Brown people, which is far too often fatal. That’s why our country is standing up once again and shouting, ‘ENOUGH!’ and taking to the streets to bring about active change.
I, too, am committed to bringing permanent change to the work environment here on THE FLASH. Yes, this is a family show. But it’s for all families. That includes Black and Brown ones. In order to facilitate this, I will continue to find Black and Brown writers, directors, actors and producers of all genders to help tell Flash stories. Their stories are part of the American narrative, too, and must be heard. And the more you hear and see us, the more you will begin to recognize one simple fact: We’re human beings, too.”
Referencing the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor that began worldwide protests, Wallace concluded his statement with “#Black Lives Matter.”
These tweets had surfaced online a few days ago, so it has to be known that Sawyer’s firing is not instant. People at The CW have taken a well though decision. Hartley Sawyer issued an apology statement on May 31st on Instagram. He wrote:
“My words, irrelevant of being meant with an intent of humor, were hurtful, and unacceptable. I am ashamed I was capable of these really horrible attempts to get attention at that time. I regret them deeply.
This was not acceptable behavior. These were words I threw out at the time with no thought or recognition of the harm my words could do, and now have done today.
I am incredibly sorry, ashamed and disappointed in myself for my ignorance back then. I want to be very clear: this is not reflective of what I think or who I am now.
Years ago, thanks to friends and experiences who helped me to open my eyes, I began my journey into becoming a more responsible adult – in terms of what I say, what I do, and beyond. I’ve largely kept that journey private, and this is another way that I have let so many down. I still have more work to do.
But how I define myself now does not take away the impact of my words, or my responsibility for them. I am very sorry.”
The world is in a state of suffering right now. But things will only be good once we get together and take an action against the unjust.