One aspect of the DC Multiverse which will seem to continue is the war of words between actor Ray Fisher and Warner Bros. Pictures. The latest round: whether or not he’ll appear in the feature film version of The Flash.
Previously, the character was set to return in the film in some capacity. But as Fisher began his campaign to root out corruption at DC Films, the role was seemingly dangled as a carrot to get him to stop speaking out against Justice League reshoot director Joss Whedon and former DC Films executives Geoff Johns and Jon Berg. Fisher soon added current DC Films head honcho Walter Hamada to the list as further enabling Whedon, Johns, and Berg after a conversation the two allegedly had back in the summer. Nevertheless, Whedon has exited all of his WarnerMedia projects — an exit which coincided with WarnerMedia announcing “remedial” action would be taken after their investigation of Fisher’s claims against the director.
Nevertheless, Fisher refused to back down on Johns and Berg for both allowing Whedon to continue his behavior on set and, as the actor alleges, threatening his career when he spoke out about Whedon; an allegation more centered on Johns than Berg. He has also been vocal about Hamada’s attempts to quell the situation. After a profile of the executive was published late in December 2020 and his contract to run DC Films was extended into 2023, Fisher vowed never to work with Hamada.
Then, as the capitol riot occurred in Washington D.C., an industry website reported Fisher’s Justice League character, Cyborg, had been written out of The Flash entirely. Choosing to focus on events in the nation’s capital Wednesday, Fisher called the story “factually inaccurate” on his Twitter account Thursday afternoon. “I did not publicly step down from anything,” he added. As before, Fisher noted in subsequent posts an attempt by Warner Bros. Pictures PR to paint a different picture of events and Hamada’s role in them since Fisher opened up about Whedon in July. But, as the actor is also often quick to note, the investigation was handled at the WarnerMedia level (Warner Bros. Pictures’ corporate parent) and, as he writes, “the Justice League investigation led to @WarnerMedia (and it’s [sic] affiliates) parting ways with Joss Whedon. Geoff Johns will be following suit.”
He added he is still in contact with WarnerMedia about his allegations and “Flash or no Flash — we fully intend to see this through.”
Details about Whedon’s abusive behavior are still unclear, although Fisher has pointed to a certain whitewashing of characters in the film as something spearheaded by the director. Nevertheless, Whedon departure from HBO’s upcoming The Nevers after WarnerMedia announced action would be taken suggests the company discovered truth in whatever the actor shared with them. It will be interesting to see if his belief in Johns’ possible departure from WarnerMedia (he currently serves as executive producer on Stargirl) will also come to pass.
At the same time, Hamada’s continued presence leaves Fisher’s Cyborg at an impasse. As Fisher noted, recasting the character will be another problem for Warner’s PR team. Writing him out also means questions will continue to be asked about Hamada’s role in the investigation.
On a personal level, I have to congratulate Fisher for maintaining his convictions. It would be so easy, as a young actor, to cave when offered a role in a film like The Flash. Nevertheless, he sees an insidious form of institutionalized racism — among other things — on display and refuses to be quiet about it. That is, without question, heroic.