Actor Hartley Sawyer fired from 'The Flash' over racist, misogynistic tweets

Actor Hartley Sawyer has been fired from The Flash after past racist and misogynistic tweets resurfaced online.

The CW, which airs The Flash, producers at Warner Bros. TV, Berlanti Productions and executive producer Eric Wallace released a statement on Monday announcing the removal of Sawyer, who played Ralph Dibny since 2017.

“Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash,” the statement read. “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.”

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Actor Skai Jackson tweeted screenshots of Sawyers allegedly racist and misogynistic tweets on Friday. Sawyer has since deleted his Twitter account.

“Out at dinner and just exposed myself as a racist, AGAIN,” one of his alleged tweets from September 2014 read.

“Super Bowl! America 80% of prison population is African-American!” another one of his alleged tweets read from February 2013 read.

“The only thing stopping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me,” another alleged tweet read.

Another alleged tweet read, “If I had a wife I’d beat the hell out of her tonight lol.”

“Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today,” an alleged tweet from February 2014 read.

Sawyer took to Instagram to issue an apology for his past tweets on May 30 before he was fired.

“I’m not here to make excuses — regardless of the intention, my words matter and they carry profound consequences. And mine can and have caused pain and embarrassment, along with feelings I can only imagine, to supporters and fans, my cast mates, the crew, my colleagues and friends,” his post began.

“I owe them all an apology. And I owe each of you an apology. Thank you for holding me accountable,” he wrote.

“My words, irrelevant of being meant with an intent of humour, 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 behaviour. 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,” the 35-year-old actor continued.

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“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,” Sawyer wrote.

“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,” he concluded.

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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.

A post shared by Hartley Sawyer (@hartleysawyer) on

Showrunner Wallace release a statement on Twitter on Monday, writing, “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.”

“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 writers, directors, actors and producers of all genders to help tell Flash stories,” Wallace added.

The Flash star Grant Gustin reposted Wallace’s statement on his Instagram account and wrote, “A statement from our leader and showrunner, Eric Wallace. I don’t have much to add because Eric’s thoughts are stated so eloquently and powerfully.”

“I will say I was shocked, saddened and angry when I saw the tweets. Words matter,” Gustin added.

 

Sawyer has yet to address his firing as of this writing.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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