The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace and series lead Grant Gustin have shared their thoughts the firing of Hartley Sawyer.
Sawyer was officially fired from The CW drama Monday after old social media posts with racist and misogynistic references resurfaced.
"This morning, many of you learned that Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for Season Seven of The Flash," Wallace wrote in a social media statement Monday.
"Concerning his social media tweets, they broke my heart and made me mad as hell. 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."
My statement regarding Hartley Sawyer and THE FLASH. pic.twitter.com/hni0MxOWZU— Eric Wallace (@ewrote) June 8, 2020
"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.
"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."
"To those who still aren't sure why so many Americans have taken to the streets to make theirs 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," he said.
"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," he concluded. He also added the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
Gustin shared Wallace's message, alongside some words of his own.
"I don't have much to add because Eric's thoughts are stated so eloquently and powerfully," he added in the caption.
"I will say I was shocked, saddened and angry when I saw the tweets. Words matter."
Sawyer posted an apology on Instagram after news broke of his firing.
“I’m not here to make excuses – regardless of the intention my words matter, and they carry profound consequences," he said.
"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 them all an apology. And I owe each of you an apology. Thank you for holding me accountable.”
The Flash is on track to return in January 2021.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.