The Flash fans got some hugely shocking news today, as The CW has fired Hartley Sawyer effective immediately following the resurfacing of numerous offensive tweets. Various racist and misogynistic Twitter posts from the actor’s account have been re-discovered over the past two weeks, creating a social media storm. Sawyer, who had played Ralph Dibny on the hit DC show since season 4, posted an apology in response towards the end of May. However, that clearly wasn’t enough and the network has decided against inviting him back for season 7.
As you’d imagine, a surprising, controversial turn of events like this one has been all Twitter’s been talking about all day. Many are fully agreed that The CW made the right call on this one, given the troubling nature of the tweets in question, and below you can see but a sample of what folks are saying.
Hartley Sawyer has been tweeting dumb sh*t for a long time now, it shouldn’t have taken him this long to get fired but anyway, better now than never. pic.twitter.com/Pc3w9wPfVz
— ?Sofiyah the Sith? (@Remanethesame) June 8, 2020
Of course, as there always is in these sort of cases, others are bemoaning “cancel culture” and believe that it’s unfair to fire Sawyer now for tweets made years ago (the offensive jokes date from 2009-2014).
Let me put this plainly:
Cancel culture's stupid.
Hartley Sawyer's tweets were obvious jokes.
Not to mention they were years ago. God forbid someone changes after a couple years.
— CrackerJacker (@JackHasCrackers) June 8, 2020
On the other hand, some folks are not buying that he’s changed his spots.
Hartley Sawyer was a grown adult in his mid to late 20s when he wrote public racist and homophobic tweets.
Just cause y’all are seeing it now years later doesn’t mean he changed. It just means he stopped doing it but was dumb enough to still get caught.
— Walt (@UberKryptonian) June 8, 2020
Even those who are generally anti-cancel culture have got to admit that Sawyer’s tweets are “pretty rough.”
I'd love for this to be just cancel culture overblown, like James Gunn's tweets, but I've read through Hartley Sawyer's, and more than a few of them are pretty rough, even for me, especially in this environment. Look at the thread here, they get aggressively less defensible. https://t.co/YvbgxPgDQB
— Dan R. (@dsrbroadway) June 8, 2020
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Those who counted themselves as Elongated Man fans are feeling particularly betrayed right now.
Im so fucking angry right now, Hartley Sawyer was one of my favorites actors and now i fucking hate it, IM DONE WITH CELEBS NOW, ONLY STAN PEDRO AND JOHN BOYEGA pic.twitter.com/JTnfAgGq0V
— Castiel? loving John Boyega? (@canario_negro27) June 8, 2020
But this wouldn’t be a Twitter controversy without some folks making jokes. Including this Arrowverse-appropriate tweet.
Hartley Sawyer: pic.twitter.com/SFW694fuhV
— Jimmy Folino – Black Lives Matter (@MrNiceGuy18_58) June 8, 2020
This just isn’t his year.
— Paul thunder ???? (@paulionthunder) June 8, 2020
Someone had to say it.
Hartley Sawyer got fired? Call that the So Longated Man
— Cassie Valentine (@VaguelyEthereal) June 8, 2020
In addition to The CW and the production team’s joint statement condemning his remarks, showrunner Eric Wallace has penned his own statement on Sawyer’s firing, writing that his past tweets “broke my heart and made me mad as hell.” Meanwhile, Barry Allen himself, Grant Gustin, shared Wallace’s statement on his Instagram, concurring that he was “shocked, saddened and angry” when he found out what his (former) co-star had tweeted.
It’s currently unclear whether Ralph will be recast with a new actor taking the role or if he’ll simply be written out. At least the producers have some time to work it out though, as The Flash season 7 won’t air until January 2021.