UNITED STATES— On June 8, it was revealed that Hartley Sawyer was fired from the superhero drama The Flash due to racist and misogynist messages posted on his social media accounts.
Sawyer, 35, is most notable for playing private detective Ralph Dibney, the alter ego of the super-stretchy Elongated Man, in The Flash. He also played Laheer in Miss 2059 and Kyle Abbott in The Young and the Restless.
Hartley Sawyer’s Twitter account has now been deleted, but screenshots of the posts still surface on social media.
In 2012, Sawyer wrote “The only thing keeping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me” and “If I had a wife I would beat the hell out of her tonight lol.” Then, in 2014 he tweeted “Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today” and “I think I could work in a tit factory and be pretty happy.”
Sawyer apologized for his words via Instagram on May 30, stating, “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.”
The CW provided the following statement on Sawyer’s firing to Variety: “Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for Season 7 of ‘The Flash.’ 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.”
The Flash’s executive producer Eric Wallace issued a statement on Twitter regarding Sawyer’s firing: “Concerning [Sawyer’s] social media tweets, they broke my heart and made me mad as hell. They are indicative of the larger problem in our country.”