Hartley Sawyer, who played Ralph Dibny, aka Elongated Man, on “The Flash,” has been fired from the TV series after a slew of old racist and misogynistic tweets emerged in the last few weeks.
The tweets, dredged up by people on Twitter last month, appear to be from 2009 to 2014 ― before Sawyer joined The CW series. Sawyer has since deleted his Twitter account, but screenshots remain.
“Out at dinner and just exposed myself as a racist, again,” reads one tweet. Others say he would beat a wife if he had one, and describe cutting off homeless women’s breasts. A person who found some of the tweets said they included some that were “fatphobic.”
The CW, Warner Bros. TV, Berlanti Productions and executive producer Eric Wallace told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement that the remarks are intolerable.
“We do not tolerate derogatory remarks that target any race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation," the statement said. "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 issued an apology on Instagram after the tweets surfaced, writing: “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.”
“The Flash” showrunner Eric Wallace said after Sawyer’s firing that the tweets “broke my heart and made me mad as hell.”
“They’re indicative of the larger problem in our country,” Wallace said in a statement Monday. “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.”
Wallace went on to say that he’s committed to bringing “permanent change to the work environment” on the set of “The Flash.”
“Systemic and institutional white privilege is not equality,” he wrote, adding: “The only way for you to be free is for all of us to be free.”