Hartley Sawyer has been fired from The Flash after a number of offensive Tweets resurfaced online this week.
“Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for Season 7 of The Flash,” Warner Bros. Television, The CW, Berlanti Productions and executive producer Eric Wallace said in a joint message. “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 messages in question are years old, and the 35-year-old actor has even deleted his Twitter account… but social media users shared screen shots of the alleged posts over the weekend.
“The only thing stopping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me,” one 2012 Tweet read, for example.
That’s not even funny.
“Date rape myself so I don’t have to masturbate,” read another from that year.
There were others, too.
“Out at dinner and just exposed myself as a racist, AGAIN,” reads a screenshot of one of his Tweets from September 2014.
“Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today,” reads another tweet from February 2014.
Another post from 2009 featured homophobic language as follows:
“@stephenhanks just kidding I don’t care and f-gs are fine but sports often make me snore.”
To his credit, all things considered, Sawyer did not mince words in his apology today.
“I’m not here to make excuses—regardless of my intention, my words matter and they carry profound consequences,” he wrote.
“And mine can and have caused pain and embarrassment, along with feelings I can only imagine, to supporters and fans, my cast mates, the crew, my colleagues and friends.
“I owe each of you an apology. Thank you for holding me accountable
Continued the actor:
“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.
Sawyer then stressed that “this is not reflective of what I think or who I am now” and concluded:
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.
In his statement, meanwhile, Wallace said he’s “committed to bringing permanent change to the work environment here on The Flash.”
Near the end of his post, the producer spoke about the recent protests and the killing of George Floyd and wrote:
To those who still aren’t sure why so many Americans have taken to the streets to make their voices known, I ask you to consider this:
Every time a Black or Brown life is harassed, harmed or murdered, as in the case of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many others, our entire country fractures and moves further and further away from any moral authority we often claim to have in the world.
Murder is not democracy. Systematic and institutional white privilege is not equality.
Suppressing the free press with violence it not liberty. The only way for you to be free is for all of us to be free. #BlackLivesMatter.