Hartley Sawyer was fired from The Flash on Monday after a series of sexist and racist tweets were circulated in the wake of continued protests against racial discrimination and police brutality. Sawyer’s tweets, many of which were from 2011-14, are now deleted but their amplified presence on social media forced The Flash to remove him from the show altogether.
Sawer, who joined the show in 2017, was fired on Monday after a number of tweets surfaced from his past that included references to sexual abuse or contained racist jokes. Sawyer played Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man, as a reoccuring character before becoming a series regular in 2018. But long threads of screenshots of his old tweets circulated online over the weekend, including one where Sawyer said “The only thing keeping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me.” He also referred to seeing a woman naked in an audition in 2014: “Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today.”
Others specifically referenced assaulting women, or just contain troubling language about sexual violence. “Date rape myself so I don’t have to masturbate,” Sawyer once tweeted.
— steph (@themirrorin6x17) May 30, 2020
The Hollywood Reporter shared details of the announcement, including a statement from the show.
“Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash,” reads a statement from The CW, producers Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions and executive producer Eric Wallace. “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 polices, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.”
Wallace also tweeted about the matter on Monday.
My statement regarding Hartley Sawyer and THE FLASH. pic.twitter.com/hni0MxOWZU
— Eric Wallace (@ewrote) June 8, 2020
For his part, Saywer issued an apology on Instagram.
His Twitter account, however, no longer exists.