Skip to main content
A scary good deal on trusted journalism
Get full digital access to globeandmail.com
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks SAVE OVER $140
OFFER ENDS OCTOBER 31
A scary good deal on trusted journalism
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
SAVE OVER $140
OFFER ENDS OCTOBER 31
// //

Hartley Sawyer, seen here on May 18, 2019, will not be returning for The Flash's seventh season because of the posts, said a joint statement from those involved with the show.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

One of the stars of a major Hollywood TV series shot in Vancouver has been fired over past racist and misogynistic social-media posts.

Hartley Sawyer, who played Ralph Dibny in The Flash, will not be returning for its seventh season because of the posts, said a joint statement from those involved with the show. The Flash is one of seven TV shows in the Arrowverse franchise, six of which are made in B.C. and employ hundreds of workers.

“Concerning his social media tweets, they broke my heart and made me mad as hell. And they’re indicative of a larger problem in our country,” The Flash executive producer Eric Wallace, who is African-American, said Monday in a posting on his Instagram account.

Story continues below advertisement

“At present, our country still accepts and protects the continual harassment – unconscious or otherwise – terrorizing and brutalizing of Black and brown people, which is far too often brutal.”

A statement from Warner Bros. Television, The CW network, Berlanti Productions and Mr. Wallace said: “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 policies, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our work force.”

Mr. Sawyer’s tweets, posted between 2012 and 2014 before he joined The Flash in 2017, include, according to media reports, racist comments such as, “The only thing stopping me from doing mildly racist things is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me.” On another occasion, he referred to how one of his favourite activities as a lad was “kidnapping homeless women and cutting off their breasts.” The 35-year-old deactivated his Twitter account in May.

Grant Gustin, who plays Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash, reposted Mr. Wallace’s Instagram comments, adding: ”I was shocked, saddened and angry when I saw the tweets. Words matter.”

In an Instagram post, Mr. Sawyer, previously featured in such series as NCIS: Los Angeles and The Young and the Restless, said he could not make any excuses for his conduct.

“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 supporters and fans, my cast mates, the crew, my colleagues and friends,” he wrote. “I am very sorry.”

Mr. Sawyer’s exit is the latest behind-the-scenes blow to the Arrowverse collection of shows, inspired by DC Comics characters, that have become key fixtures of British Columbia’s booming production sector.

Story continues below advertisement

This spring, Ruby Rose, the star of the Vancouver-shot series Batwoman, quit as the show completed its first season. Ms. Rose has yet to elaborate on her reasons for leaving the show, the first in the fictional universe featuring an LGBTQ lead. Her character is being replaced in the series in which she played the cousin of Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman.

The Flash and Batwoman are among the seven comic book-inspired shows in the Arrowverse media franchise, six of which are shot in Vancouver. The Vancouver Arrowverse shows are Arrow, which aired its season finale this year, as well as Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Batwoman and the pending series Superman and Lois.

In 2017, Andrew Kreisberg, a producer and creator of The Flash, was suspended amid allegations of sexual harassment detailed in the magazine Variety. He denied them. Mr. Kreisberg was also involved in creating Arrow, Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. He was also an executive producer.

Details on spending for the franchise is closely guarded but a 2017 study by the Motion Picture Association-Canada said a single season of Arrow, about a hooded vigilante in a fictional U.S. city, created jobs equivalent to the construction of 616 new homes in B.C.

Sign up for the weekly Western Canada newsletter.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies