Grant Gustin, who stars in The Flash alongside Hartley Sawyer, has commented on the firing of his co-star, saying he was “shocked, saddened and angry” after reading the actor’s offensive tweets.
Sawyer, who played Ralph Dibney/The Elongated Man on the The CW’s superhero series, was booted off the show yesterday after a series of racist and misogynistic tweets published by him resurfaced.
Gustin reposted showrunner Eric Wallace’s statement, announcing that Sawyer would not be returning for The Flash’s seventh series in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, with the following caption:
“I don’t have much to add because Eric’s thoughts are stated so eloquently and powerfully,” he wrote.
“I will say I was shocked, saddened and angry when I saw the tweets. Words matter,” he added.
Wallace’s statement, which was published on Twitter yesterday, said Sawyer’s past tweets “broke my heart and made me mad as hell”, adding that they are indicative of a larger problem of racism in America.
“I, too, am committed to bringing permanent change to the work environment here on The Flash. Yes, this is a family show. But it’s for all families. That includes Black and Brown ones,” he continued.
“Their stories are part of the American narrative, too, and must be heard. And the more you hear and see us, the more you will begin to recognise one simple fact: We’re human beings, too.”
Sawyer joined the series in 2017 as the Elongated Man – a private investigator and formerly corrupt police officer who has body elasticity super powers and joins The Flash’s superhero team.
Hartley also responded to his axing from the show, apologising in a statement. “My words, irrelevant of being meant with an intent of humour, were hurtful, and unacceptable. I am ashamed I was capable of these really horrible attempts to get attention at that time,” he said.
“I regret them deeply. This was not acceptable behaviour. 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,” he added.
“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,” he said.
He added that he has begun a private “journey into becoming a more responsible adult” and that he still has “more work to do”.
The Flash airs on E4 in the UK and The CW in the US. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.