It appears as if Team Flash will be one member down when The Flash returns later this year for its seventh season.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Hartley Sawyer has been fired from the genre favourite series due to his social media activity. Sawyer has played Ralph Dibny, aka Elongated Man, since Season Four.
The comments in question come from before Sawyer joined The Flash, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t any less offensive. We won’t reference the Twitter comments directly here, although you can find them out there in the online ether if you particularly want to check them out for yourself.
On the decision to remove Sawyer from the show, The Flash producers released the following statement.
Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for Season Seven 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 policies, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.
For Sawyer’s part, he took to Instagram to offer an apology for his previous comments.
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.
At this stage, it remains to be seen whether the role of Ralph Dibny will be recast or if the character will just be quietly written out of The Flash. For comic book fans, Season Six took a major step forward for Ralph – as he struck up a flirtatious friendship with Sue Dearbon. In the comics, of course, Sue and Ralph become a married couple.
Expect more on this situation as we get it.