Actor Hartley Sawyer has been fired from TV show The Flash after offensive tweets resurfaced.
The 35-year-old – who played Ralph Dibny aka the Elongated Man on the superhero series – apologised after posts containing “sexist and racist” references emerged.
Sawyer said the tweets were “hurtful and unacceptable”, and that “I regret them deeply”.
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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.
The Flash producers announced he would not feature in the seventh series of the popular show.
In a joint statement, Warner Bros Television, The CW channel, Berlanti Productions and the show’s executive producer Eric Wallace said: “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.”
Sawyer’s Twitter account has since been deleted but alleged screenshots of his tweets have recirculated. They contained racist and homophobic language.
Several discussed violence against women. Sawyer shared an apology on Instagram.
He said: “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. 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.”
Sawyer joined The Flash in 2017.