‘The Flash’: Hartley Sawyer Fired After Racist, Misogynist Tweets Resurface

“The Flash” has fired actor Hartley Sawyer from the series after a slew of old tweets resurfaced that featured racist and misogynist language…

Hartley Sawyer — who played Ralph Dibny aka The Elongated Man — has been fired from “The Flash.”

The actor was let go after a series of old Twitter messages resurfaced where the actor used racist, misogynist language while making light of sexual assault and domestic abuse as well. While the tweets were made long before Sawyer was on “The Flash,” the messages were still out there until users recently discovered them and brought it to light.

Sawyer’s Twitter has since been deleted but screenshots of some of the messages have continued to circulate online.

It didn’t take long for “The Flash” to part ways with Sawyer after those messages came to light with showrunner Eric Wallace later issuing a statement regarding his dismissal.

“This morning many of you learned that Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season 7 of ‘The Flash’,” Wallace wrote. “Concerning his social media tweets, they broke my heart and made me mad as hell,” Wallace wrote. “And they’re indicative of the larger problem in our country. Because at present, our country still accepts and protects the continual harassment — unconscious or otherwise — terrorizing and brutalizing of black and brown people, which is far too often fatal. That’s why our country is standing up once again and shouting ‘ENOUGH’ and taking to the streets to bring about active change.
“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 ones. In order to facilitate this, 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.”

“The Flash” star Grant Gustin later weighed in with his own statement after echoing what Wallace had already said in the wake of Sawyer’s firing.

“I don’t have much to add because Eric’s thoughts are stated so eloquently and powerfully,” Gustin wrote. “I will say I was shocked, saddened and angry when I saw the tweets. Words matter.”

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A statement from our leader and showrunner, Eric Wallace. — @ewrote — 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.

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Sawyer later issued his own lengthy apology for the tweets while taking responsibility for the language he used.

“I am incredibly sorry, ashamed and disappointed in myself for my ignorance back then,” Sawyer wrote. “I want to be very clear: this is not reflective of what I think or who I am now.”

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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.

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“The Flash” has already been renewed for season 7 with the series expected to return to production later this year with a 2021 debut date on the CW. It’s unclear at this time if the show will recast Sawyer’s part or just write him off the show all together. His character played a major role on “The Flash” for the past few seasons and actress Natalie Dreyfus joined the show during season 6 to play Ralph Dibny’s iconic love interest Sue Dearbon.

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