The Flash Star Grant Gustin on Hartley Sawyer Firing: "Words Matter"

Not long after news broke on Monday that The Flash star Hartley Sawyer (Ralph Dibney aka Elongated Man) was fired from The CW's long-running Arrowverse series, executive producer Eric Wallace and series lead Grant Gustin (Barry Allen aka The Flash) have posted their thoughts. The decision came after a number of tweets from Sawyer's past came to light that contained misogynist and racist references. The posts (made prior to his joining The Flash in 2017) reference sexual assault and also contain homophobic and racist language. While Sawyer's Twitter account has since been deleted, screenshots have been circulating online for nearly two weeks.

The Flash
The Flash — "Success Is Assured" — IHartley Sawyer as Elongated Man (Image: The CW)

Wallace was part of a joint statement released at the time Sawyer's firing was confirmed, but the executive producer posted a more personal message where he also promised that the show would do better to more inclusive "for all families." Gustin took to Instagram to share Wallace's message (which was also retweeted by Beth Schwartz and Marc Guggenheim), adding this in the caption: "I don't have much to add because Eric's thoughts are stated so eloquently and powerfully. I will say I was shocked, saddened and angry when I saw the tweets. Words matter." Here's a look at their respective posts:

Here's what The CW, producers Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions, and Wallace had to say in their official statement: "Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash. 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."

The Flash Star Grant Gustin on Hartley Sawyer Firing: "Words Matter"

On May 30, Sawyer posted an apology for the posts on Instagram, saying in part: "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." You can check out the rest of the post below:

 

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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.

A post shared by Hartley Sawyer (@hartleysawyer) on

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.

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