Actor Hartley Sawyer has been sacked from TV series The Flash after a barrage of his tweets were found to contain sexist, racist, rape and fat-phobic references.
Sawyer joined The Flash in 2017 as Ralph Dibny, a.k.a. Elongated Man. Other television credits include The Young and the Restless, Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23 and NCIS: Los Angeles.
Sawyer’s negative tweets date as far back as 2012 but resurfaced over the past fortnight.
Among the tweets is one from 2012 in which Sawyer wrote: “The only thing keeping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that [civil rights activist] Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me.”
Later, in 2014, he wrote, “Enjoyed a secret boob viewing at an audition today.”
Several other tweets refer to rape and assault, two of these reading: “Date rape myself so I don’t have to masturbate” and “If I had a wife I would beat the hell out of her tonight lol”. Another states “Jingle bells, Batman smells, women shouldn’t vote.”
A statement was given overnight from the producers of The Flash, stating: “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 polices, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.”
In a subsequent apology via his Instagram account, Sawyer wrote: “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.”
Hartley Sawyer has since taken down his Twitter account.