According to The Hollywood Reporter, actor Hartley Sawyer, interpreter of Ralph Dibny / Elastic Man in The Flash, was dismissed from the CW’s attraction due to the appearance of old offensive, racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments on Twitter between 2012 and 2014. It has not yet been revealed whether the character will be excluded from the series or whether another actor will be cast for the post.
“Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for the seventh season of The Flash. Regarding Sawyer’s posts on social media, we do not tolerate derogatory comments that target any race, ethnicity, national origin, gender or sexual orientation. Such comments are antithetical to our values and policies, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce ”, said a statement on behalf of the broadcaster, producers Warner Bros. TV, Berlanti Productions and showrunner Eric Wallace.
The latter even made his own Twitter post on the subject: “This morning, many of you saw that Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for the seventh season of The Flash. Regarding his social media tweets, they broke my heart and made me extremely angry. They are indicative of the biggest problem in our country ”.
My statement regarding Hartley Sawyer and THE FLASH. pic.twitter.com/hni0MxOWZU
— Eric Wallace (@ewrote) June 8, 2020
In recalling the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, Wallace made the following statement: “Murder is not democracy. Systemic and institutional white privilege is not equality. Violently suppressing the free press is not freedom. The only way for you to be free is for all of us to be free ”.
Sawyer’s posts surfaced again on the internet on May 30. At the time, he turned to Instagram to show regret. “I’m not here to make excuses – regardless of the intention, my words matter and they have consequences.”
“I’m ashamed that I was able to do these really horrible things to get attention at that moment. I deeply regret it. It was not acceptable behavior. These behaviors were words that I played at the time without thinking or acknowledging the damage that my words could cause, and that they have now caused ”, he added.