The CW has announced that Hartley Sawyer has been fired from his role as Ralph Dibny, a.k.a. Elongated Man, in the DC superhero show The Flash after a host of racist and misogynistic tweets made by the actor resurfaced on social media.
“Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash,” reads the official statement from The CW, Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions. “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.”
Over the past couple of weeks, numerous offensive tweets made by the actor have come to light, and while his Twitter account has since been deleted, screenshots of many of the posts remain online. Sawyer meanwhile took to Instagram to offer an apology for his behaviour:
View this post on Instagram
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.
Sawyer joined the cast of The Flash as a recurring guest star in season four of the show before being upped to a series regular for seasons five and six.