‘The Flash’ Star Hartley Sawyer Fired Over Racist & Sexist Tweets
The CW, which The Flash is broadcasted on, along with the show’s producers Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions gave a statement to Variety that read, “Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for Season 7 of ‘The Flash.’ In regards to Mr. Sawyer’s posts on social media, we do not tolerate derogatory remarks that target any race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation. Such remarks are antithetical to our values and polices, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.”
The tweets were mainly from 2012 and 2014 and had many fans of the show calling for Sawyer to be fired. Twitter user @MasterChuch81 said, “I am not watching or supporting @CW_TheFlash until this guy gets fired. Now. Are you one of those guys that say ‘but it was a joke’ Yeah right.,” and provided screenshots of Sawyer’s controversial tweets.
They included, “Jingle bells, batman smells, women shouldn’t vote,” and “As a lad, one of my favorite activities was kidnapping homeless women and cutting off their breasts.”
Sawyer delivered an apology on May 30 via Instagram. He said, “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.”
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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 show’s executive producer Eric Wallace took to Twitter to give his own statement on June 8 where he explained that The Flash is a family show that includes viewers of all different races and all different walks of life. He expressed his support for those protesting in the wake of George Floyd’s death. He ended the statement with, “#BlackLivesMatter.”
My statement regarding Hartley Sawyer and THE FLASH. pic.twitter.com/hni0MxOWZU
— Eric Wallace (@ewrote) June 8, 2020
Sawyer played a series regular named Ralph Dibney who was the “Elongated Man.” He joined The Flash during season 4. The show had finished its sixth season last month.