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Film and TV

The Flash star Hartley Sawyer fired after disgusting racist, misogynistic and homophobic tweets resurface

Nick Duffy June 9, 2020
The Flash actor Hartley Sawyer

The Flash actor Hartley Sawyer (Morgan Lieberman/WireImage)

Hartley Sawyer has been fired from The Flash TV show after it was revealed he sent a stream of racist, homophobic and misogynistic messages.

The actor, who played Ralph Dibny for three seasons on The CW superhero show, was condemned by the show’s creators and cast on Monday as his messages resurfaced.

Actor sent vile tweets about ‘fags’, racism and wife-beating

The since-deleted tweets, dated between 2012 and 2014, include one that reads: “Fags are fine but sports often make me snore.”

Another reads: “If I had a wife I would beat the hell out of her tonight lol.”

One tweet reads: “As a lad, one of my favourite activities was kidnapping homeless women and cutting off their breasts.”

In another message, he wrote: “The only thing keeping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me.”

A statement from The CW, producers Warner Bros and Berlanti Productions says: “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 Flash showrunner ‘heartbroken and mad as hell’.

In his own statement, showrunner Eric Wallace says the messages “broke my heart and made me mad as hell,” adding: “They’re indicative of the larger problem in our country. Because at present, our country still accepts and protects the continual harassment – unconscious or otherwise – terrorising and brutalising of Black and brown people, which is far too often fatal.”

Wallace pledged to “continue to find Black and brown writers, directors, actors and producers of all genders to help tell Flash stories”.

Sharing the message, The Flash star Grant Gustin wrote: “I don’t have much to add because Eric’s thoughts are stated so eloquently and powerfully. I will say I was shocked, saddened and angry when I saw the tweets. Words matter.”

Hartley Sawyer: ‘I am incredibly sorry, ashamed and disappointed in myself.’

Sawyer, who has now deleted his Twitter account entirely, posted an apology to Instagram.

He wrote: “My words, irrelevant of being meant with an intent of humour, 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 behaviour. 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.”

Sawyer was aged between 23 and 25 when the bulk of the messages were sent.

He added: “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.”

More: Hartley Sawyer, Homophobia, misogyny, racism, the cw, The Flash, TV, Twitter

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