‘The Flash’s Hartley Sawyer Fired for Racist & Misogynistic Tweets
The Flash is cutting ties with one of its cast members.
Hartley Sawyer, who has played Ralph Dibney since Season 4, was fired from The CW drama. Recent screenshots of his Twitter account from 2012 and 2014 (now deleted) revealed his posts were racist, homophobic, and misogynistic and alluded to sexual assault and more.
“Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for Season 7 of The Flash,” The CW, Warner Bros. TV, Berlanti Productions, and executive producer Eric Wallace, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “In regards to Mr. Sawyer’s post 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 posted an additional statement on Twitter. “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,” he wrote. “I am committed to bringing permanent change to the work environment here on The Flash. … I will continue to find Black and Brown writers, directors, actors and producers of all genders to help tell Flash stories. Their stories are part of the American narrative, too, and must be heard. And the more you hear and see us, the more you will begin to recognize one simple fact: We’re human beings, too.” Read it in full below.
My statement regarding Hartley Sawyer and THE FLASH. pic.twitter.com/hni0MxOWZU
— Eric Wallace (@ewrote) June 8, 2020
Series star Grant Gustin, who plays Barry Allen/The Flash, reposted Wallace’s statement on Instagram and added, “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,” in the caption.
After the offensive tweets resurfaced, Sawyer took to social media to apologize for his past comments. “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,” he wrote on Instagram on May 30.
“I am incredibly sorry, ashamed and disappointed in myself for my ignorance back then,” he continued, adding that his posts are “not reflective” of who he is now. Read his full apology below.
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.
Sawyer first appeared on the CW superhero series in 2017 and was made a series regular the following year.
The Flash, Season 7, 2021, The CW