The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Hartley Sawyer has been fired from Grant Gustin’s The Flash series after several racist and misogynist tweets surfaced last week.
Sawyer joined the series as Ralph Dibney a.k.a. The Elongated Man in the fourth season of The CW series. The tweets which contained racist and homophobic references were posted prior to Sawyer’s involvement with the series. While the actor’s Twitter account has since been deleted, screenshots of the tweets have circulated online recently, revealing the actor made references to sexual assault and joked about racism in a tweet that read “The only thing keeping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me.”
The CW, Warner Bros. TV, Berlanti Productions, and The Flash executive producer Eric Wallace have released a joint statement on the matter:
“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.”
The former series regular took to Instagram over the weekend to issue an apology, telling fans of the show:
“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.”
In the comics, Ralph Dibney was a fast-talking private investigator turned crime fighter after he discovered he had the power to stretch his body into any shape or form. In the Gustin-lead series, the Elongated Man used his power to help Team Flash solve many of Central City’s greatest mysteries. The show will now move forward without Sawyer although it is unclear whether or not the actor will be replaced or if the character will be cut from the series entirely.
As for what to expect from the next season, showrunner Eric Wallace recently teased “tears” for season seven after the sixth season was cut short due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Gustin also recently revealed that the show could be continuing beyond the seventh season for an eighth and possibly even a ninth season.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Flash Season Seven:
Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) lived a normal life as a perpetually tardy C.S.I. in the Central City Police Department. Barry’s life changed forever when the S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator exploded, creating a dark-matter lightning storm that struck Barry, bestowing him with superspeed and making him the fastest man alive — The Flash. After a thrilling cliffhanger last season which saw the new Mirror Master (Efrat Dor) victorious and still-at-large in Central City, The Flash must regroup in order to stop her and find a way to make contact with his missing wife, Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton).
With help from the rest of Team Flash, which includes superheroes Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker), Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes), Ralph Dibny (Hartley Sawyer), and Nash Wells (Tom Cavanagh), as well as the Flash’s adoptive father Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), Meta-Attorney Cecile Horton (Danielle Nicolet), tough cub reporter Allegra Garcia (Kayla Compton) and brilliant tech-nerd Chester P. Runk (Brandon McKnight)…Flash will ultimately defeat Mirror Master. But in doing so, he’ll also unleash an even more powerful and devastating threat on Central City: one that threatens to tear his team—and his marriage—apart.
The Flash stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, Candice Patton as Iris West, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow / Killer Frost, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon / Vibe, Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells, Jesse L. Martin as Joe West, and Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton.
The Flash Season 7 will return on The CW in 2021. Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for all the latest news on the situation with Hartley Sawyer, the Arrowverse, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content in the future!