Hartley Sawyer won’t be playing Ralph Dibny on CW’s The Flash anymore. In fact, he’s been fired after prior sexist and racist tweets have surfaced. Sawyer has played the character on the DC series for the past three seasons and these tweets were all originally posted prior to his time on the show.
Still, Sawyer’s tweets contained racist and homophobic language and also alluded to sexual assault. While Sawyer’s Twitter page has been deleted, nothing ever goes away on the internet. There are screenshots of those old posts, which have been circulating around the internet for the past two weeks.
Eric Wallace, The CW, producers Warner Bros. TV, and Berlanti Productions have released a statement:
“Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash. 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.”
Disclaimer: Sawyer’s Prior Tweets
Here are what some of those tweets included:
“The only thing keeping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me.”
“Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today.”
“Date rape myself so I don’t have to masturbate.”
Sawyer has since put out an 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. 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.”
Sawyer isn’t the first person to be fired over past tweets. Director James Gunn was fired from Marvel due to ten-year-old tweets resurfacing (though, I’d like to say none of them were racist, sexist, or homophobic. Just really ill-tasted humor), though; he’s been rehired. Roseanne’s show was canceled after a racist tweet. And in 2019, Kevin Hart was fired from being a host at the Oscars due to some homophobic remarks from a few years prior.
What do you think about Sawyer’s firing?
A girl with too many fandoms to count.