‘The Flash’ Showrunner Explained How The Show Will Handle Hartley Sawyer’s Firing

Almost every show on the planet has had to shuffle things amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but some shows have experienced non-coronavirus controversies since Hollywood largely shut down. One of those involved The Flash actor Hartley Sawyer, who saw some racist, misogynistic and homophobic tweets resurface and draw wide outrage.

The incident led to his firing, and as things started to return to (somewhat) normal in Hollywood, we now know what the show will do with the role Sawyer played. According to Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Eric Wallace said they won’t replace Sawyer’s role as Ralph Dibny, AKA the Elongated Man. Instead they’ll put the character to “rest” for a while:

“The beauty of comic book stories and superhero stories are the conventions that heroes come and go, but they never fade away and they never disappear entirely. So we’re going to treat it like we would if we were writing a comic book graphic novel. We’re giving the Elongated Man a bit of a rest for while. But we will leave the door open,” said Wallace. “Who knows what the future could bring. It is unknown. But I’m not saying by any means that it’s the end of the character, in fact, quite the opposite. We just don’t know when he will return, or in what form he will return. And that’s the beauty of comic book stories. It keeps it fresh.”

Wallace did say that the abbreviated Season 6 will still have Dibny play an important role in the show’s storylines. After that they won’t so much replace him as concentrate on other characters. EW has a more spoiler-filled explanation of what could go down, but Wallace made it clear the show hasn’t done away with the Elongated Man just yet.

“In order to wrap that up, which we’re going to do at the top of season 7, Ralph has to be part of that. Now thank goodness, Ralph is a guy who can change faces and his appearance in many ways. Without giving any spoilers away, there are a couple of ways that we can have Elongated Man still appear in at least one episode this season to wrap that storyline up, that gets us what we need and still allows fans to say goodbye to the character, at least for the indefinite future,” said Wallace.

What is clear is that Sawyer won’t return in the role. And that his departure has made some pretty considerable changes necessary to the show’s story moving forward.

[via Entertainment Weekly]