While the DC Extended Universe is working to get itself back on track in the movie department with the Christmas 2020 release of Wonder Woman 1984 and two big debuts this year, Warner Bros. is still in a great deal of trouble with multiple controversies. The most prominent of these controversies is Ray Fisher vs. Joss Whedon after Fisher accused Whedon of inexcusable abuse on the set of Justice League in 2016.
This controversy has been in the limelight for most of the last six months, even gaining new steam after DC Films president Walter Hamada had his contract with the company renewed through 2023. Hamada's extension came as a shock to the comic book movie world, especially considering the stance that Fisher has taken against him.
That stance is coming to a firm head with Fisher's most recent release, which could spell some bad news for the future of the DCEU.
In a new release on Twitter, Cyborg actor Ray Fisher put out a statement that he will not be invovled in the upcoming 2022 movie The Flash, contrary to other reports saying otherwise. Furthermore, Fisher said he is willing to walk away from the role of Cyborg altogether to raise awareness towards Hamada's actions.
The full statement reads as follows:
I have received official confirmation that Warner Bros. Pictures has decided to remove me from
the cast of The Flash.I strongly disagree with their decision, but it is one that is unsurprising.
Despite the misconception, Cyborg's involvement in The Flash was much larger than a cameo - and while I do mourn the lost opportunity to bring Victor Stone back to the screen, bringing awareness to the actions of Walter Hamada will prove to be a much more important contribution to our world.On December 30th 2020, I made it clear that I cannot - with a clear conscience-participate in any production associated with the current President of DC Films, Walter Hamada.The reasoning behind that declaration was twofold:
1) Walter's purposeful attempt to undermine the Justice League investigation in order to
protect his friend, and former co-president, Geoff Johns.
2) Walter's attempt to protect himself by contributing to the public dissemination of lies and
misinformation about myself and the Justice League investigation in Warner Bros. Pictures' September 4th statement to The Wrap.
Bear in mind, Walter Hamada interfering with the Justice League investigation is a completely separate issue than the investigation itself. And while Walter's behavior was not a point of focus for the investigation of the Justice League reshoots, his dangerous and enabling actions during the investigation process must be called to account.On July 7th 2020, during a fifty-seven minute long phone call with Walter, I made multiple attempts to have a him escalate my claims of misconduct against Joss Whedon, Geoff Johns,
and Jon Berg through the proper channels.
Rather than escalate the situation when initially asked, Walter disparaged Joss Whedon and Jon Berg in an attempt to cover for Geoff Johns. When I alerted Walter that Geoff was, in fact, a major contributor to the issues experienced, including blatant racism-Walter tried, but to no avail, to get me to reveal the names of witnesses and other specifics that could be used to forewarn Geoff of the claims being brought against him. Walter even went so far as to sharply dismiss certain claims of mine as untrue because of his work experience and personal relationship with Geoff.
Walter indicated that he was briefed on Joss Whedon's problematic behavior well in advance of my speaking out on July 1st, 2020. That briefing likely came from Geoff Johns, with whom Walter served as co-president of DC Films. Regardless of how he was made aware, Walter knew that there was legitimacy to my claims against Joss Whedon, yet he persisted in trying to minimize and dismiss the situation-claiming that it is a producer's job to "protect the director” and that he was looking “to move beyond" anything to do with Zack Snyder's Justice League.
It wasn't until I argued Walter down that he agreed to escalate my claims as asked-citing it as "above his pay grade." Knowing that he had overstepped, and that I had no intention of backing down, Walter made matters worse by making a tastelessly self-aware joke about not
wanting me to put him "on Twitter about this.
"Well here we are...Despite Walter's best efforts, the Justice League investigation was able to expose the racist, coercive, discriminatory, and retaliatory behavior of Geoff Johns during his tenure with WarnerMedia's affiliates. It has also led to the more immediate parting of ways between WarnerMedia and Joss Whedon.While it be may legally and financially safer to quietly phase Geoff Johns out, or to let Joss Whedon "exit" of his own accord I share neither of those responsibilities.My responsibilities are, and have been:
1) To try to protect those that were brave enough to lend their voice to the Justice League investigation.
2) To use what little power I possess to ensure that the workplace behavior exhibited during the Justice League reshoots (and its investigation) never happens again.
No one, in any profession, should have to argue with their employer for their claims of abuse, racism, and discrimination to be taken up the proper chain of command. And no one, in any position of leadership, should attempt to dissuade those wishing to report such claims from
Walter's actions have transformed this narrative from an investigation of on-set misconduct in 2017 to the examination of the present day cover-up culture of Hollywood. His contribution to Warner Bros. Pictures September 4th statement to The Wrap was false, cowardly, and reckless.I maintain that Walter Hamada is unfit for a position of leadership-and I am willing, at any point, to submit to a polygraph test to support my claims against him. I don't know how many instances of workplace abuse Walter has attempted to cover in the past, but hopefully the Justice League investigation will be the last.And if the end of my time as Cyborg is the cost for helping to bring awareness and accountability to Walter Hamada's actions—I'll pay it gladly.
"You reach a point in life where you simply must take a stand.”
The full post can be seen here:
WHAT THIS MEANS
After over six months of reports detailing the controversial aftermath from Justice League's reshoots, things now seem to have officially come to a head. Fisher has spoken for months about his feelings on both director Joss Whedon and producer Walter Hamada, and the fact that he’s willing to walk away from the franchise for good shows how seriously he feels he, and others, were mistreated.
On top of not being in The Flash when the movie arrives in 2022, it seems clear that his last appearance as Cyborg could come as early as March when Cyborg’s role is expanded upon in the Snyder Cut of Justice League.
No matter how much news comes from this story, this saga will likely not come to a close for the foreseeable future due to Fisher's outspoken nature and the seriousness of the situation. Unfortunately, for the moment, it seems as though the DCEU fandom has seen the very last of Ray Fisher as Cyborg.