Culture

'The Flash' Actor Hartley Sawyer Cancelled for Bad Tweets from Before He Was Famous

(Twitter screenshot)

Once a witch hunt gets going, the most important thing is to make sure somebody else is the witch. When a mob of angry people are emboldened by their successes and need someone else to hurt, that someone else could be you. How do you keep that from happening? How do you protect yourself?

“I saw Goody Proctor with the Devil!”
“Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?”
“He wrote ‘Boof’ in his high school yearbook! Can’t you see he’s a rapist?”
“Did you see what this guy on TV tweeted before he was famous?”

Denise Petski, Deadline:

Hartley Sawyer, who has played Ralph Dibny, aka Elongated Man, on the CW series The Flash for the past three seasons, has been fired after old social media posts with racist and misogynistic references recently resurfaced, Deadline has confirmed.

“Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for Season 7 of The Flash,” according to a joint statement provided to Deadline from Warner Bros. TV, The CW, Berlanti Productions and executive producer Eric Wallace. “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 policies, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.”

The guy who cures cancer had better delete all his old tweets first, because nobody gives a damn who you are at your best. They’ll take the worst thing about you they can find, hang it around your neck while parading you through the town square, and chant, “SHAME!! SHAME!! SHAME!!!”

And what did Sawyer say, exactly? Here are some of the old, pre-fame tweets that just ruined this man’s career:

“The only thing stopping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me.” That’s it. That’s why his career is now ruined.

Hartley Sawyer sent some bad tweets before anybody had ever heard of him, and in the space of one day he’s irredeemably fallen. He mocked Al Sharpton, and now he must pay. Now his friends and colleagues have thrown him to the wolves, because they know if they don’t, they could be next.

Here’s what The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace wrote about it:

From the tone of this, you’d think Hartley Sawyer was a pedophile or a serial killer. He sent some bad tweets 6-8 years ago. When somebody dug them up to #cancel him, he apologized and groveled for mercy. But that’s not good enough. The mob must have blood.

Grant Gustin, star of The Flash, knows the same thing will happen to him if he doesn’t capitulate to the mob, so he just saved himself by throwing his own colleague to them. No grace. No forgiveness. Just pure, panicky self-preservation.

Gustin plays a superhero on TV, but he can’t even stand up to the villains who destroyed his own co-star over some old tweets.

It’s the Elongated Man’s fault that there’s racism in America, everybody. You did it. You ended his career with the click of a mouse. Good for you.

Roseanne Barr got canceled forever because she made a bad joke about Valerie Jarrett. This guy got canceled forever because he made a bad joke about Al Sharpton. Noticing a pattern?

Whereas Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn got canceled for bad tweets, which was ironic because he had just joined the pile-on when Roseanne was ruined. But then Gunn got his career back because he only joked about molesting children. That’s a relatively minor offense, compared to offending a Democrat.

Ralph Northam and Justin Trudeau have been spared any consequences for the amazingly racist crap they did, because they have the political power to give libs what they want. If they appease the mob, they avoid the same punishment. And the cowards in the media normalize it, because they’re team players.

Alec Baldwin is a violent rageball, misogynist, racist, and homophobe — and that’s just the stuff we know about — but he gets to host Match Game and be on SNL whenever he wants because he expresses the preferred set of political opinions.

“But this guy is just an actor on a schlocky CW show. What’s the big deal?” That is the big deal. He’s just an actor on a schlocky CW show. He has no power to hurt you unless you let him. A lot of people just let him. So they ruined him because it felt good, and his friends abandoned him to save themselves.

What makes you think the same thing can’t happen to you? Just because you know you didn’t do anything wrong? Just because you know you’re not the person your enemies say you are? Good luck with that one.

Better not mock or criticize the people you’re not supposed to. They’re the victims, and they own you.