Hartley Sawyer

Hartley Sawyer, an actor who has played Ralph Dibny, aka Elongated Man, on The Flash since season 4, has been fired from The CW series. The actor was let go after old offensive tweets came to light featuring language deemed racist and misogynistic. Sawyer posted the tweets before he was hired on The Flash, and his Twitter account has since been deleted, but screenshots have been heavily circulating online in the last few weeks.

THR is reporting that The Flash has fired Hartley Sawyer for a series of offensive tweets. One tweet, from 2012, has the actor writing: “The only thing keeping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me.” Another, from 2014, states: “Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today.”

The following statement from The CW, producers Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions and executive producer Eric Wallace, was released in the wake of the firing:

“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 polices, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.”

And Wallace, who is also the series showrunner, released a separate statement on Twitter, writing, in part, “Concerning his social media tweets, they broke my heart and made me mad as hell.”

Sawyer issued an apology on his Instagram account, writing that he was “not here to make excuses”, adding:

“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.”

You can see the full statement below.

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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

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