As Hollywood continues to experience a reckoning concurrent with the rousing protests against racial injustice, some are beginning to experience late-arriving consequences for bad behavior. The latest to feel the lightning bolt of repercussions is The Flash’s Hartley Sawyer, who has played Ralph Dibney a.k.a. Enlongated Man since season four. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the actor has been fired after a slew of alarming tweets resurfaced over the past week. Sawyer has since deactivated his account; however,a user managed to compile a number of the tweets in a thread, which reflect a mixed bag of homophobic, racist, abusive, and misogynistic “jokes.”
“Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today,” one tweet from 2014 read. In another from 2012 Sawyer muses, “If I had a wife I would beat the hell out of her tonight lol.” Quite a few of the messages reference sexual violence, however he managed to also find the time to unleash other equally witty gems such as “Super Bowl! America! 80% of the prison population is African-American.” The dates range from 2011 to 2014.
Sawyer released a lengthy apology on Instagram last week after the tweets began to gain steam. You can read his full statement below.
“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 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.
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.”
For some, this might inspire memories of the 2018 James Gunn incident,where similarly alarming tweets led to his temporary dismissal from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3. We’re not so positive that this will result in a reinstatement for Sawyer as it did with the Marvel director, but it is already leading to a similar debate regarding the length of time between the original tweets and the consequences. The Flash’s executive producer Eric Wallace issued the following statement: