Warner Stands By the Justice League Investigation, Ray Fisher Responds

If you've been anything near social media for the last couple of months and you're in the nerd sector of the internet, you might have heard about the allegations that Justice League actor Ray Fisher was making against various members of management at WarnerMedia. Fisher seemed to focus on Joss Whedon first but went on to include many other members of the WarnerMedia management. An investigation was done, but Fisher has said that the investigation was not ethical and that Warner is covering for everyone except Whedon, who they are throwing under the bus. While doing an interview with Variety, WarnerMedia Studios CEO Ann Sarnoff was asked if " investigation corroborate any of his [Fisher's] claims of racism on the part of your employees?"

No. Our investigator, Judge Katherine Forrest, has issued statements specifically about [DC Films president] Walter Hamada, saying that there was no evidence of interference by Walter in the investigation. She said that the cuts made in the Joss Whedon version of "Justice League" were not racially motivated. We took it very seriously, so we hired one of the top investigators out there and gave her a tremendous amount of leeway.

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The famous water tower of Warner Brothers in Burbank. Warner Bros is an American entertainment company. Editorial credit: Tero Vesalainen / Shutterstock.com

When asked if there was any sort of NDA preventing Fisher from being more open about what he alleges happened on the set of the Justice League reshoots, Sarnoff said that "not that I know of," and a spokesman for Fisher replied with "Mr. Fisher is no longer under NDA and will comment further when appropriate to do so." Variety went on to ask Sarnoff about Walter Hamada, DC President of Films and someone Fisher has refused to work with, and his part in all of this was.

Walter had nothing to do with "Justice League." He was not running DC Films in 2017 when "Justice League" was completed and released. He wasn't put in charge of DC Films until the following year. About a year ago, Walter, [Warner Bros. Pictures Group head] Toby Emmerich, me, [former WarnerMedia chairman] Bob Greenblatt, [former HBO Max content chief] Kevin Reilly, and [HBO Max original programming head] Sarah Aubrey sat around the table with Zack and greenlit the Snyder cut. That cut includes Ray Fisher's entire story as Cyborg, which is something that he had been disappointed had been cut from the Justice League movie three years ago. Perhaps we've lost the plot a little bit which is that Toby and Walter were part of the green-lighting that allowed Zack's vision to come to life, which includes sharing the full story about Ray's character. There really was nothing that Walter did against Ray, in fact he offered him a role in the Flash movie.

Walter was promoted recently. I am fully supportive of Toby and Walter and their visions. I truly believe they are great executives. Walter happens to be a person of color, so he knows what that feels like. He is bringing in diverse voices at an accelerated pace, more than anyone has in the past.

That last line that Hamada couldn't be racist is a bit much, and it seems that Fisher thought so as well. He took to his Twitter to respond to the comments. Fisher tweeted, "Apparently some folks at @WarnerMedia think that a room full of executives saying "we can't an angry Black man at the center of the movie" (and then reducing/removing all Black and POC from that movie) isn't racist. Odd. The investigator hired by @WarnerMedia was brought on to help the company assess and evade legal liabilities. Continually touting her status as a FORMER federal judge in an attempt to sway public opinion is obvious and desperate. She is now simply a lawyer."

Ray Fisher Says He Won't Work With DC President of Films Walter Hamada
Ray Fisher as Cyborg in Justice League (2017). Credit: Warner Bros.

"As I've said—people will attempt to shift blame completely to Joss Whedon for the Justice League reshoots," Fisher continued in more Tweets. "Toby Emmerich, Geoff Johns, and Jon Berg share in that responsibility; with Johns working directly with Joss on restructuring the script based on the execs' convos. Furthermore: "There really was nothing that Walter did against Ray, in fact, he offered him a role in the Flash movie." AND "Walter happens to be a person of color, so he knows what that feels like." are the absolute definition of tone deaf. Final thought for now: Rather than trying to convince people on what the Justice League investigation DIDN'T find—how about you start telling them what it DID? The public is a lot smarter than what you're giving them credit for. The proof is there. More soon."

At the moment, the fandom appears to be trying to find a way to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse, but Fisher has gone on the record and said that he would not work with Hamada. You can't have someone in a DC film or property without involving the DC President of Films. Ben Affleck seems keen to have smaller roles but not bigger ones, and Henry Cavill has The Witcher, which is keeping him more than busy enough. As for Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller, they would need new contracts, and Gadot and Momoa could take Warner Bros. to the bank.

It very much sounds like Fisher isn't ready to let any of this go, and until fans want to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse without him, it might be time to let this corner of the universe go. If things really were as bad as Fisher said they were, do we really want to put him back in that position? We'll have to see what else he says.

About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com