Hartley Sawyer apologizes: ‘My words matter and they carry profound consequences.’
Here’s yet another case of celebrities behaving badly. When will they ever learn?
In an exclusive, The Hollywood Reporter writes that actor Hartley Sawyer has been fired from popular superhero series “The Flash” after several of his tweets containing misogynist and racist references surfaced in the past week.
Sawyer played Ralph Dibny on The CW series for the past three seasons.
The tweets, all posted before he joined The CW series, reportedly make references to sexual assault and contain racist and homophobic language. Sawyer’s Twitter account has been deleted, but screenshots of the old posts have circulated online in the past two weeks.
His firing also comes amid nationwide protests against systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
“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.”
Among the tweets users recently dug up are one from 2012 in which Sawyer wrote: “The only thing keeping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me.”
In 2014, he wrote, “Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today.”
In addition, several tweets refer to assaulting women, and one reads, “Date rape myself so I don’t have to masturbate,” THR reported.
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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 has since issued an apology on his Instagram. “I’m not here to make excuses,” he wrote. “Regardless of the intention, my words matter and they carry profound consequences. And mine can and have caused pain and embarrassment, along with feelings I can only imagine, to my supporters and fans, my cast mates, the crew, my colleagues and friends. I owe them all an apology. And I owe each of you an apology. Thank you for holding me accountable.”
Sawyer went on to say that he is “incredibly sorry, ashamed, and disappointed” in his behavior. “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.”
Sawyer was cast as Ralph Dibny on “The Flash” in 2017 and he was promoted to series regular status in 2018. It’s unclear at this point if Dibny will be written off of the show or if Sawyer will simply be recast.