- Executive producer says ‘they broke my heart and made me mad as hell’.
Producers have fired actor Hartley Sawyer from The Flash after his racist, misogynist and homophobic tweets came to light.
The tweets, all from before he joined The CW television network superhero series, even refer to sexual assault.
In 2013 he tweeted: ‘Super Bowl! America! 80% of the prison population is African-American!’
The following year he tweeted: ‘Out at dinner and just exposed myself as a racist, AGAIN.’
He also made a homophobic comment, saying: ‘Just kidding I don’t care and fags are fine but sports often make me snore.’
But some of his most shocking tweets involve sexual violence.
Sawyer tweeted: ‘Date rape myself so I don’t have to masturbate.’ And he said: ‘If I had a wife I’d beat the hell out of her tonight lol.’
Another time he commented: ‘As a lad, one of my favorite activities was kidnapping homeless women and cutting off their breasts.’
Moreover in 2014 he claimed: ‘Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today.’
‘I am ashamed’
Sawyer, 35, has now apologized for his comments.
Posting on Instagram he said: ‘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.’
Sawyer joined The Flash in 2017 as Ralph Dibny, also known as Elongated Man. He became a series regular in 2018.
But now The CW has confirmed he will not be returning for series seven.
Executive producer Eric Wallace said: ‘This morning, many of you learned that Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash.
‘Concerning his social media tweets, they broke my heart and made me mad as hell. And they’re indicative of the larger problem in our country.’
Meanwhile lead actor Grant Gustin added he was ‘shocked, saddened and angry when I saw the tweets. Words matter.’
Moreover, The CW, producers Warner Bros TV and Berlanti Productions and Wallace also sent out a formal statement.
It said: ‘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.’