Last year, Justice League actor Ray Fisher accused writer and director Joss Whedon of being “gross” and “abusive” while making the 2017 superhero movie. (The Buffy creator has since faced a new round of allegations.) The actor has mostly used social media to speak out against Warner Bros. executives for “racist conversations” and Whedon’s “unprofessional” behavior, but the Hollywood Reporter published a lengthy interview with Fisher on Tuesday, where he discussed what it was like to work with Whedon.
In a call with the filmmaker about much of Cyborg’s story being removed from the script, Fisher said he was told, “It feels like I’m taking notes right now, and I don’t like taking notes from anybody — not even Robert Downey Jr.” (Cyborg is arguably the main character in HBO Max’s restored Zack Snyder’s Justice League.) Whedon and then-DC Films chairman Jon Berg also made Fisher say Cyborg’s “booyah!” catchphrase from the Teen Titans animated series. “It seemed weird to have the only Black character say that,” Fisher told THR, when no other character in the film had a catchphrase. He thought the issue was dropped after raising his objection, until a dinner with Berg.
“This is one of the most expensive movies Warners has ever made,” Fisher claims Berg told him. “What if the CEO of AT&T has a son or daughter, and that son or daughter wants Cyborg to say ‘booyah’ in the movie and we don’t have a take of that? I could lose my job.” Whedon reportedly handled the situation with a mocking tone:
But he shot the take. As he arrived on set, he says, Whedon stretched out his arms and said a line from Hamlet in a mocking tone: “Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you.” Fisher replied, “Joss — don’t. I’m not in the mood.” As he left the set after saying just that one phrase for the cameras, he says, Whedon called out, “Nice work, Ray.”
Whedon was also accused by a “knowledgeable source” of threatening to make Wonder Woman look “stupid” if Gal Gadot didn’t follow his orders:
A knowledgeable source says Gadot had multiple concerns with the revised version of the film, including “issues about her character being more aggressive than her character in Wonder Woman. She wanted to make the character flow from one movie to the next.” The biggest clash, sources say, came when Whedon pushed Gadot to record lines she didn’t like, threatened to harm Gadot’s career, and disparaged Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. While Fisher declines to discuss any of what transpired with Gadot, a witness on the production who later spoke to investigators says that after one clash, “Joss was bragging that he’s had it out with Gal. He told her he’s the writer and she’s going to shut up and say the lines and he can make her look incredibly stupid in this movie.”
“I’m not so indebted to Hollywood that I haven’t been willing to put myself out there,” Fisher said to THR. “If I can’t get accountability, at least I can make people aware of who they’re dealing with.”
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)