The Flash: Grant Gustin condemns Hartley Sawyer as co-star fired over ‘racist’ tweets
The Flash star Grant Gustin has broken his silence following the firing of co-star Hartley Sawyer due to racist and sexist tweets being rediscovered.
In a statement shared on Monday (8 June), executive producer Eric Wallace confirmed that Sawyer would not be returning to his role on The CW series, writing: “Concerning [Sawyer’s] social media tweets, they broke my heart and made me mad as hell.
“And they’re indicative of the larger problem in our country. I am committed to bringing permanent change to the work environment here on The Flash.”
Wallace’s words were reshared on Monday night by Gustin, who stars as the titular superhero, saying: “I don’t have much to add because Eric’s thoughts are stated so eloquently and powerfully.”
He continued: “I will say I was shocked, saddened and angry when I saw the tweets. Words matter.”
Sawyer, who had played superhero Elongated Man on The Flash since 2017, was widely condemned after a number of screenshots of since-deleted tweets including jokes about rape, sexual harassment and racism emerged on social media.
One tweet read: “Outside of the 7-11 where I assaulted my girlfriend lol”, while another said: “Out at dinner and just exposed myself as a racist again.”
Sawyer apologised for the tweets on his Instagram in May, writing: “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.
A statement from our leader and showrunner, Eric Wallace. — @ewrote — 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.
A post shared by Grant Gustin (@grantgust) on Jun 8, 2020 at 11:56am PDT
“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.”