Elongated Man in The Flash series fired after old racist, misogynist tweets resurface
“We do not tolerate derogatory remarks that target any race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation,” said Warner Bros TV.
Hartley Sawyer, the actor who played Ralph Dibny, aka Elongated Man on The CW network’s superhero drama The Flash for the past three seasons has been fired after old tweets containing racist, misogynist, and homophobic content resurfaced.
His dismissal also comes amid protests against systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, US.
"Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for Season 7 of The Flash," said Warner Bros TV, The CW, Berlanti Production, and The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace in a joint statement. "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.”
The tweets that resulted in Sawyer’s dismissal were published between 2012 and 2014, before the actor joined the cast of The Flash in 2017. Though Sawyer’s Twitter account has been deleted, screenshots of his tweets are still circulating on the Internet.
Wallace later tweeted a statement that read, "This morning, many of you learned that Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash. 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."
Sawyer issued a lengthy apology 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. This was not acceptable behavior," he wrote. "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."
Warner Bros TV has yet to reveal how The Flash will deal with Sawyer's departure. The superhero series last ended with Ralph warning Sue Dearbon (played by Natalie Dreyfuss) – who is destined to become his wife – that Eva McCulloch framed her for Joseph Carver's mother.
The Flash is expected to return in 2021.