Actor Hartley Sawyer has been fired from The CW’s “Flash” after several past tweets of his resurfaced that used racist, misogynistic, and homophobic language.
“Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for Season 7 of The Flash,” reads a statement from Warner Bros. Television, The CW, Berlanti Productions and executive producer Eric Wallace. “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.”
Sawyer played Ralph Dibny/Elongated Man on the series for three seasons, having joined in 2017 as a recurring character and later being upped to series regular. His ousting comes as across the nation, Black Lives Matter protests continue on in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
His Twitter account has since been deleted, but users screenshotted the tweets, all written before he joined “The Flash,” and have been resurfacing them for the past few weeks.
In 2014, he wrote, “Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today,” and in 2012, “The only thing keeping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me.”
Other tweets refer pointedly to violence against women.
“Outside of the 7-11 where I assaulted my ex-girlfriend lol,” he wrote in December of 2012.
Another tweet from earlier that same day reads, “I like women who are good in the sack! The burlap sack where I put my victims.”
The actor has since issued 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,” he wrote on May 30. “…I am incredibly sorry, ashamed and disappointed in myself for my ignorance back then.”
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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.