“The Flash” Co-Stars Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell Speak Out Following Hartley Sawyer Firing

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Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell speak out about The Flash costar Hartley Sawyer
Photo: Instagram

After news broke on Monday that Hartley Sawyer had been fired from role as Ralph Dibny on The CW series The Flash, Hartley’s costars Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell are speaking out.

Grant, who plays The Flash and Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen/Green Shadow are in support of their executive producer Eric Wallace, who wrote:

“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,” Wallace wrote. “And they’re indicative of the larger problem in our country. 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. That’s why our country is standing up once again and shouting, ‘ENOUGH!’ and taking to the streets to bring about active change.”

“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 wrote. “In order to facilitate this, I will continue to find Black and Brown writers, directors, actors and producers of all genders to help tell FLASH stories. 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 recognize one simple fact: We’re human beings, too.”

He concluded by saying, “”To those who still aren’t sure why so many Americans have taken to the streets to make their voices known, I ask you to consider this: Every time a Black or Brown life is harassed, harmed or murdered, as in the case of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many others, our entire country fractures and moves further and further away from any moral authority we often claim to have in the world. Murder is not democracy. Systemic and institutional white privilege is not equality. Suppressing the free press with violence is not liberty. The only way for you to be free is for all of us to be free.”

Both Gustin and Amell reposted the words from their executive producer, each with their own words to add.

“I don’t have much to add because Eric’s thoughts are stated so eloquently and powerfully. I will say I was shocked, saddened and angry when I saw the tweets. Words matter, ” Gustin wrote in the caption.

Amell also shared the words, adding, “Grant is one of the most thoughtful guys I know. He listens… and he wears his heart on his sleeve. Proud to have worked with him. Also… I’m aware that the showrunner wrote this. I’m supporting my friend. That’s it.”

Wallace also joined Warner Bros. Television, The CW and Berlanti Productions in a joint statement to E!: “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.”

Late last month, Sawyer apologized for his now deleted offensive tweets, which contained racist and homophobic language, in a post on Instagram.

“I’m not here to make excuses—regardless of my intention, my words matter and they carry profound consequences,” he began. “And mine can and have caused pain and embarrassment, along with feelings I can only imagine, to supporters and fans, my cast mates, the crew, my colleagues and friends. I owe each of you an apology. Thank you for holding me accountable.”

“My words, irrelevant of being meant with an intent of humor, were hurtful, and unacceptable,” Sawyer added. “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. ”

He concluded by saying, “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.”

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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.

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