The Flash actor Hartley Sawyer has been fired after his highly contentious tweets, appearing to be offensive to a large section of the society, resurfaced on the web.
The CW, Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions told the Hollywood Reporter that Sawyer will not be returning to the show due to a series of racist and homophobic tweets he made in the past.
“Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash,” an official statement said on Monday. “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.”
Showrunner Eric Wallace also tweeted a lengthy statement, noting that the tweets sent by Sawyer, 35, “broke my heart and made me mad as hell.”
In 2011, Sawyer made offensive remarks about women, “All women should be in sex farms.”
In June 2012, he tweeted, “The only thing stopping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me.”
In 2014, he added, “Out at dinner and just exposed myself as a racist, AGAIN,” and later, “Jingle bells, batman smells, women shouldn’t vote.” He also used multiple homophobic slurs. Twitter account has since then been deactivated.
Responding to his removal from the show and the backlash he has received over his statements, Sawyer issued an apology, “I’m not here to make excuses — regardless of the intention, my words matter and they carry profound consequences. 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 them all an apology. And I owe each of you an apology. Thank you for holding me accountable.
“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.”
“I want to be very clear: this is not reflective of what I think or who I am now. 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,” Sawyer added.