The ongoing drama between Ray Fisher and the higher-ups at Warner Bros. continues. Fisher recently lashed out at DC President of Films Walter Hamada about the integrity of the Justice League investigation and Warner Bros. clapping back almost immediately. Fisher has taken to social media to post a long note detailing some new details about the alleged racist and problematic things that were said. "But when you have studio executives (particularly Geoff Johns) saying, "we can't have an angry Black man at the center of the movie"—and then those executives use their power to reduce and remove ALL Black people from that movie—they are no longer entitled to any benefit associated with doubt," Fisher said in the note.
Fisher went on to describe a scene where he was asked to "play Cyborg like Quasimodo" and another where Jon Berg and Geoff Johns forced "a scene to be reshot so they could highlight the existence of Cyborg's penis," which all right that's more than a little weird. Fisher also alleges that Johns said they "can't have an angry Black man at the center of the movie" and then went on to remove all of the black people from the movie itself. Fisher ended the statement by saying that Zack Snyder's Justice League "stands as proof of, and opposition to, that discrimination."
There are some first-hand accounts which are some of the first that Fisher has provided this entire time, but there are others that are quite literally hearsay, and Fisher says that they are ("However—it wasn't until the summer of 2020 that individuals who were in those meetings felt comfortable sharing with me what they had witnessed firsthand"). There are also a couple of other things where it is unclear whether or not these are things that Fisher was told were said or if they were things that people told Fisher were said, such as Johns's statement about angry black men. This whole situation just continues to escalate. The full statement from the Twitter image is provided below if you'd like to read it for yourself in an easier to read format:
Prior to the Justice League reshoots of 2017, racially discriminatory conversations were had and entertained—on multiple occasions—by Warner Bros. Pictures executives: Toby Emmerich, Geoff Johns, and Jon Berg.
Had I been aware of those conversations in realtime. I would have addressed them in realtime. However—it wasn't until the summer of 2020 that individuals who were in those meetings felt comfortable sharing with me what they had witnessed firsthand.
When it comes to matters involving race, I always try to give the benefit of the doubt to those who may be ignorant of their own biases. But when you have studio executives (particularly Geoff Johns) saying, "we can't have an angry Black man at the center of the movie"—and then those executives use their power to reduce and remove ALL Black people from that movie—they are no longer entitled to any benefit associated with doubt.
Toby, Geoff, and Jon were not ignorant of their biases. They understood full well that the racist rhetoric they chose to entertain in those meetings was offensive, discriminatory. and unacceptable. Furthermore, they dared not speak those things to me, nor any other Black person associated with the film. Instead, they chose the cowardly route of gaslighting—complete with extremely problematic requests such as asking me to "play Cyborg like Quasimodo"; and forcing a scene to be reshot so they could highlight the existence of Cyborg's penis.
Unfortunately, those were just some of the issues.
We now know that the leadership at Warner Bros. Pictures lied to the cast and crew of Justice League (and to the world) about Zack Snyder picking Joss Whedon to finish the film.
The truth will continue to reveal itself. And as it does, there will likely be attempts to shift blame completely onto Kevin Tsujihara and Joss Whedon. But make no mistake. Geoff Johns worked intimately with Joss to overhaul the entire Justice League script. And while Geoff was not credited as a co-writer of the film, he was certainly an enforcer of the race-based discrimination that occurred during his conversations with Toby and Jon.
Zack Snyder's Justice League stands as proof of, and opposition to, that discrimination.
I am indebted to the participants of the Justice League investigation. They have put themselves at great risk to share the truth. I owe it to them; I owe it to my peers in this industry; and I owe it to all Black people to stay the course.
Onward. Gratefully, Ray
PS – Walter Hamada owes an apology to all the participants of the Justice League investigation.
"It doesn't matter how strong your opinions are. If you don't use your power for positive change, you are, indeed, part of the problem." — Coretta Scott King