IO – Actor Hartley Sawyer has been fired from The Flash after a host of his tweets containing misogynist and racist references surfaced in the past week.
The tweets, all from before he joined The CW series, make references to sexual assault and contain racist and homophobic language. Sawyer’s Twitter acco nt has been deleted, but screenshots of the old posts have circulated online in the past two weeks. His firing also comes amid nationwide protests against systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd’s May 25 death in Minneapolis.
“Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash,” reads a statement from The CW, producers Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions and executive producer Eric Wallace, as quoted by Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
Sawyer — who plays Ralph Dibny, The Elongated Man, on the CW superhero show — was fired Monday as a result of tweets from 2012 and 2014 resurfacing that were degrading to women and where he called himself a racist. In one tweet, Sawyer jokes about being at dinner and “exposed myself as a racist, again.” He said in another that he would “beat the hell” out of his wife if he had one.
Sawyer issued an apology to his Instagram on May 30 after the tweets resurfaced where he admitted to making “unacceptable” jokes to get attention.
“I am incredibly sorry, ashamed and disappointed in myself for my ignorance back then,” Sawyer said as quoted by nbcnews. “I want to be very clear: this is not reflective of what I think or who I am now.”
The actor said that friends opened his eyes to his behavior years ago, which helped him evolve into a more “responsible” adult.
“I’ve largely kept that journey private, and this is another way that I have let so many down,” Sawyer said. “I still have more work to do.”
The network released a joint statement on Monday along with Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions to announce Sawyer would not be returning for the next season of “The Flash.”
“In regard 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,” the statement said. ”Such remarks are antithetical to our values and polices, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.” (rp)