The Flash has lost another regular cast member. The Hollywood Reporter was first to reveal that Hartley Sawyer, who played Ralph Dibny/Elongated Man, had been fired from the series. This was probably shocking news, until you saw the reason behind it.
Sawyer was fired for a number of tweets that contained offensive and discriminatory subject matter. Normally this is where I would show you some of those tweets, but they have since been deleted (along with Sawyer’s account.) The dates range from 2011 to 2014. I’ve seen them, I’m just choosing not to repeat them. You can go to the THR story for that.
What I can share with you is the statement from statement from The CW, producers Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions and executive producer Eric Wallace. It reads, “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 policies, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.”
Wallace would later release his own statement via Twitter:
My statement regarding Hartley Sawyer and THE FLASH. pic.twitter.com/hni0MxOWZU
— Eric Wallace (@ewrote) June 8, 2020
As for Hartley Sawyer, he would take to Instagram for his apology:
View this post on Instagram
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.
A post shared by Hartley Sawyer (@hartleysawyer) on
I will say that I was quite shocked too when I read the tweets. While I do not know Hartley Sawyer personally, I have interviewed him a couple of times. Being around someone for a total of 20 minutes, in a group setting, is hardly enough time to judge someone’s character. I know I have praised Sawyer’s work quite a bit in the past, but it was just that, his work. This was certainly not an endorsement of Hartley Sawyer, the person.
Back to business, there is no word yet on the future of the Ralph Dibny character on the show. Only time will tell if the role will be re-cast, or he will simply be written out of the show. This could also have ripple effects for Natalie Dreyfuss and the character of Sue Dearbon. There really is no rush to make that decision, since The Flash doesn’t return until 2021. More on this as it develops.
Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW