Hartley Sawyer won’t be returning for season 7 of The Flash due to older social media posts that have resurfaced. Ranging from racist comments to sexual assault, a number of old tweets have been found.
Joining The Flash in 2017 as Ralph Dibny/Elongated Man, Sawyer was promoted to a series regular in 2018. Throughout season 6, Dibny had a growing romantic relationship with Sue Dearborn (Natalie Dreyfuss) who would go on to be his wife in the comics.
The tweets that surfaced from Sawyer’s now-deleted Twitter account were accumulated over the past week. The tweets span several years and discuss domestic abuse, animal cruelty, sexual assault, and racist views.
The CW, Warner Bros. TV, Berlanti Productions, and executive producer Eric Wallace issued a statement saying, “Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash.” It goes on to say, “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.”
Previous to the confirmation of his firing, Sawyer published an apology on his Instagram following the resurfacing of the posts:
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.
No word as of yet if the role of Ralph Dibny will be recast or written out of the series.