Hartley Sawyer won't be returning for the next season of the CW's superhero show The Flash because of derogatory tweets he made that were recently unearthed.
Entertainment Tonight shares that not long after fans pulled up Sawyer's past tweets— many of which contained racist and misogynistic language— the actor was swiftly fired.
Sawyer's firing from The Flash addressed by show executives
Sawyer's departure from the show was announced in a joint statement on behalf of Warner Bros. Television, The CW, Berlanti Productions, and executive producer Eric Wallace. "Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season 7 of The Flash," the statement began, according to Entertainment Tonight.
"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."
Wallace shared a more lengthy statement via Twitter, where he said that Sawyer's past tweets "broke my heart and made me mad as hell" before going on to talk about the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. "They're indicative of the larger problem in our country," The Flash's showrunner said in regards to Sawyer's tweets.
"Because 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 fatal."
Sawyer's old tweets exposed with help of actress Skai Jackson
Sawyer's social media posts were brought to light by fans attempting to "expose" racists online, and they had the help of someone in the industry to do it! That's because as Entertainment Tonight shares, actress Skai Jackson made a post about Sawyer's tweets from years ago that garnered quite a bit of attention.
"If I had a wife I would beat the hell out of her tonight lol," one of his tweets read, while another claimed "The only thing stopping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me." Sawyer also joked about sensitive subjects such as suicide, incarcerated African Americans, and rape.
Sawyer issues apology online: "This was not acceptable behavior"
Sawyer, who joined The Flash in season 4 as "Ralph Dibney," otherwise known as "Elongated Man," posted an apology on Instagram after his firing. "My words, irrelevant of being meant with an intent of humor, were hurtful, and unacceptable," Sawyer wrote in his post.
"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 wanted to make it clear to fans that these tweets from his past are not an accurate reflection of his character at present. "I am incredibly sorry, ashamed and disappointed in myself for my ignorance back then," he wrote.
"I want to be very clear: this is not reflective of what I think or who I am now. But how I define myself now does not take away the impact of my words, or my responsibility for them. I am very sorry."