Hartley Sawyer has been fired from his role as Ralph Dibny on "The Flash." He has been part of the hit CW series for the past three seasons.
Every Word Matters
"The Flash" actor has been removed from his job after a number of his past tweets with racist and misogynist references resurfaced in the past few weeks. All these tweets were made before he even joined the CW series, but it hit him hard just the same.
One of the tweets that resurfaced was one that Sawyer wrote back in 2012: "The only thing keeping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me."
In 2014, he also wrote, "Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today."
He also had several other tweets that refer to assaulting women. One read, "Date rape myself so I don't have to masturbate."
Sawyer's Twitter account has been deleted, but screenshots of his controversial tweets continue to circulate in the web. Obviously, the CW management was not too happy with his tweets that came with messages of sexual assault, not to mention the racist and homophobic languages used.
His firing came amid the nationwide protests against systemic racism following the death of an African American at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. The violent death of George Floyd has had everyone talking about practices in various industries that speak of racial bias.
The executive producer of the show, Eric Wallace, the management of the CW series, and its producers -- Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions -- have released a statement confirming the actor's dismissal from the superhero series.
"Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash," the statement read.
"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 policies, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive, and productive environment for our workforce."
Sawyer's co-actors expressed their disappointment over his tweets. In their own statement, they condemned the insensitivity of the words he used while showing their support to the larger call for change.
Fellow "The Flash" actor Eric Wallace released a statement saying: "This morning, many of you learned that Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash. Concerning his social media tweets, they broke my heart and made me mad as hell. And they're indicative of the larger problem in our country."
His full statement was published through his social media account. Grant Gustin, who plays as "The Flash," reposted Wallace's statement and added that he was "shocked, saddened, and angry" when he saw the tweets of Sawyer.
Through his Instagram account, Sawyer issued a public apology admitting his wrongdoing.
"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."
A Life Lost
Over two weeks ago, George Floyd was only known by the people close to him. In fact, when the news about his death was first reported, he was only referred to as an African-American who died during an arrest.
However, when videos of his violent death circulated, it sparked outrage among citizens. People started to gather in the streets screaming for justice.
As more celebrities came forward to fight against systemic racism and discrimination, those who speak otherwise are taught their lesson. Hartley Sawyer may be good in his craft, but his words only show the kind of person that he is.