Hartley Sawyer, 35, justifiably fired from ‘The Flash’ for unhinged old tweets

World Premiere of 'Godzilla: King of the Monsters'

Yesterday, I kept seeing the headlines about how someone named Hartley Sawyer was fired from The Flash for “old tweets.” I didn’t see any headlines or summaries go in-depth about the tweets, and that’s why I sought out this story, to figure out just how bad these tweets were to get some guy on a CW show fired so abruptly. For what it’s worth, I’ve never seen The Flash and I have no idea what anything show-related is about, but Sawyer played the Elongated Man. He is currently 35 years old, which would have made him 27 years old when he made most of these tweets, which are apparently all from 2012:

These are part of an even longer tweet-thread and it just goes on and on and on. Like, he could not shut up. He was tweeting endlessly offensive sh-t about gay people, women and people of color. He thought it was hilarious to repeatedly make “jokes” about violence against women.

This reminds me so much about the controversy with Marvel director James Gunn, who was fired for about eight months (before he was rehired) because of HIS offensive old tweets, which involved a lot of “jokes” about rape and pedophilia. There’s something in these comic-book fandoms, right? In Gunn’s case, his old tweets were dug up by right-wingers looking to make some kind of point about Disney. In Sawyer’s case, I think fans of the show were just shocked that this guy is such a douche canoe..

Anyway, CW lined up with the producers of The Flash and they issued a statement saying: “Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash. 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 polices, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.” I’m including some tweets below showing support for Sawyer’s firing and support for CW creating an inclusive environment:

World Premiere of 'Godzilla: King of the Monsters'

Photos courtesy of WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

50 Responses to “Hartley Sawyer, 35, justifiably fired from ‘The Flash’ for unhinged old tweets”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Enis says:

    Grant Gustin is genuinely a good dude. He and Candace Patton have had a lot of crap thrown at them for the Barry/Iris relationship and a lot of that has been racist. He has always been the first to bat to defend his BIPOC coworkers.

    I think a lot of fans are shocked because Hartley Sawyer’s character is a really kind hearted, and the polar opposite of the tweets.

    • Darla says:

      There’s a large part of the DC fandom that is toxic. White gamergate types. Candace has taken the brunt of that. It’s so shameful. I love comic shows, and I know the Arrowverse. It makes me feel terrible. I wish they would go away.

    • Freddy says:

      Well, on TV the dude was acting….in those Tweets, he was being real.

  2. Cassandra says:

    Isn’t checking social media a standard part of the hiring process now (for almost any job)?

    • Erinn says:

      Technically illegal in most cases, though I think gray area in terms of “public” accounts. But social media policies are common once hired.

    • Darla says:

      Apparently not in casting, though I am certain a whole new career field is opening right now. This idiot’s isht was all out there, you didn’t have to look, and amazingly he didn’t delete this stuff when he was cast. I mean, HOW STUPID ARE THESE PEOPLE??

      But if I were casting I’d want a deep dive done, reddit, everywhere. So this is an opportunity for someone with cyber detective skills to create a good business for themselves.

    • lucy2 says:

      That was my first thought – these were made 8 years ago, and he’s been working on the show for several years now – how did no one catch this? It really should be someone’s job in any production to make sure they aren’t hiring a bigot/racist/sexist asshat like this guy. I hope if anyone had a bad experience with him on a set, they feel free to speak about it now, if they choose too.

      I saw the story last night, but didn’t see all his tweets. They are WAY worse than I expected. No one with any decency should ever hire him on a production again. Very happy to see that there was no debate, he was swiftly fired.

      • Mel M says:

        Holy smokes WAY worse! How does one become so hateful, evil and proud enough of it to broadcast it all over the internet? This isn’t just some personality flaw. Clearly he was raised in an extremely toxic environment where this was something he saw and learned about on a daily basis, weather it be in the home, at school, within the community, idk.

      • Andrea says:

        He is my relative. Although I cannot speak for him in recent years for he has lived across the country from me and it has been years since I have last seen him, I will say I grew up with him and his family. He always was extremely kind hearted and humorous albeit a dark humor at times. He grew up in a nice family and went to school a few counties north of NYC. This isn’t the person I grew up with at all.

    • Eyeballs says:

      I’ve seen job ads where they ask for your Facebook account (rare); this was in the US. It’s common for them to check LinkedIn. Some even say, “Add us on LinkedIn” (probably to get their connection count up as well. Others only accept applications through LinkedIn so your profile is already vetted.

  3. Tonode says:

    At first I was gonna say cut him some slack, he was young…. but he was 27 when made these tweets. Yikes.

  4. emmy says:

    Yeah, I hope this didn’t impact the black actors on that show. Candace especially has had to deal with some awful racist sh*t from trolls over the years. She was also shamed when she put on a few measly pounds at some point. I was livid. To find out this guy is a racist fratbro douchecanoe… gross. I love the show, especially because of the actors. Good riddance.

  5. bonobochick says:

    He needed to go with those tweets. I am fine with his character but those tweets are trash. I don’t get how actors don’t scrub their social media accounts but then we wouldn’t get stories / outings like this.

    I know some The Flash fans are worried about a certain actress on the show and her history with microaggressions + plus dating a white supremacist putting a target on her, I’ve seen more than a few tweets in the last 24 hours *worried* about her which amuses me cause they’re saying that the actress “better be left alone” while seeming to tacitly accept that she’s racist. They’re trying to frame it as a shipper war blaming the WestAllen fandom instead of it being about that actress’s years long microaggressions towards a colleague.

    • Darla says:

      I know who you mean. So the toxic fanboys are rallying around her? Better be left alone? Well, nobody has the real receipts on her yet, as you say they are microaggressions with a level of deniability. That changes if her target decides to talk. I don’t think that will happen though.

      • bonobochick says:

        They are rallying. I have the WestAllen tag up on my tweetdeck so I have seen some of the tweets caping for that actress and blaming this all on “westallen bullies” 🙄

        Anywho, I really hope Candice will speak out re: things behind the scenes show as well as times when it seemed like the earlier season showrunners where trying to Abbie Mills her character. I have already seen the years of abuse Candice has had on social media from some in the fandom who are PRESSED about a Black woman being the lady lead of the show plus her having Grant’s full support.

    • TeamAwesome says:

      Wait, what? Who? And also DANG IT! I really enjoyed Ralph and was looking forward to more with him and Sue.

  6. BlueSky says:

    Never heard of this guy nor watched “The Flash” but I find it hard to believe he was not problematic on set. If he’s this brazen online imagine what he’s like in person. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few days we hear some come forward with stories.

    • Darla says:

      That’s what I worry about. My first thought was, just how safe were women on that set? And, how much worse was it for the women of color on that set? The female lead is black.

      • lucy2 says:

        Exactly. I don’t know this show either, but as a white woman I wouldn’t feel very safe around someone like that, and I can’t even begin to imagine how a black woman would feel.

    • bluemoonhorse says:

      You can bet he voiced this in person, even if it was bros around the water cooler. Some one ignored it because it suited them to ignore it.

  7. Case says:

    These tweets are horrific. Wtf.

    That said — and I felt this way about James Gunn, too — I think companies need to start doing their due diligence BEFORE they hire someone, not firing them years later because they get called out for employing these people. It feels so disingenuous and performative to only fire people once the public notices the tweets.

  8. Rae says:

    I can’t even wrap my head around what this guy’s angle even is. There is so rhyme and reason to those tweets, he just seems to randomly feel the need to post offensive shit on his twitter. Attention seeking?

    He does come off as unhinged and I would absolutely have no sorrow in kicking his arse out of the door.

  9. Ali says:

    On The Flash there is a white actress named Danielle Panabaker.

    For six years Danielle Panabaker has been targeting the lead actress of the show a black woman named Candice Patton.

    Danielle Panabaker did all the typical micro aggressions like trying to portray herself as the lead actress of the show, excluding Candice when promoting the show, and promoting her character’s non-existent romantic relationship with the lead male character.

    While I am glad Hartley is gone, Danielle should be next.

    • Erinn says:

      I don’t follow this show at all, but the name Danielle Panabaker stuck out as being familliar to me. I googled, and immediately was like “ahhh the Sky High girl” because that’s the first thing I remember seeing her in.

      HOLY CRAP. I would never have guessed there was that much going on behind the scenes. That’s SO shady.

      • bonobochick says:

        There is a great thread on twitter about DP’s behavior (which also includes a few other white actresses on other CW shows acting shady).


      • emmy says:

        That thread is crazy Fandom bs at its worst. There is NO proof at all except to show she promotes her character, which is her job.

        I don’t know her. But unless there’s more, Ivm not calling for her firing based on what Twitter sleuths have compiled. It’s reaching.

      • Darla says:

        Emmy I agree that thread went off the rails, especially dragging Caity into it. I am suspicious of DP, but unless Candace says something, it’s reaching. The Caity thing is what turned that into utter craziness.

      • bonobochick says:

        I mean, it’s up to you if you want to give those actresses the benefit of the doubt and why you do regarding their behavior. *shrugs* Obviously some others see fire and smoke as well as patterns of behavior against Black women.

      • emmy says:

        Give her a pass for what? You’re acting like I’m ignoring something except it’s not there. This is entirely based on wild speculation and her promoting her character. WTF?

      • bonobochick says:

        Emmy…. it’s speculation if there’s no evidence. I would say a thread of receipts to support her argument on the situation isn’t truly speculation. You can disagree with her conclusion, sure.

      • emmy says:

        I disagree with the notion that these are receipts. That’s all.

      • Shazza says:

        She also used to date James Woods

    • bonobochick says:

      There are folks who are always going to give DP a pass as long as she doesn’t flat out say the n word. As another person here stated, microaggressions give DP *deniability* regarding her actions being racist in the minds of some and there are folks, both familiar and unfamiliar with the situation, who will grab on to that deniability quickly to absolve her.

      • Darla says:

        Nope. That was me who said that. I also say that thread you posted is off the rails, and it’s toxic fandom. You are speaking to a fan. I know it’s not DP’s “job” to promote a relationship between Barry and Frost. There is NO romantic relationship there. It becomes something to sideye when the black lead, who is “the love of barry’s life” suffers racist attacks from DC fanboys, and DP still promotes “snowbarry”. Because you are appealing to racists who won’t accept the romantic lead being a black woman, and want a “snow” white romantic lead. So Dp needs to have an eye kept on her, and she better shut that isht down now.

        But that thread? There are no “shady” actions other white actresses have committed. You have invented things out of whole cloth on Caity Lotz, and that’s a smear. You’re smearing her. It’s toxic. It’s toxic fandom. You need to stop it.

      • Ali says:

        @EMMY maybe you should read the thread.

      • bonobochick says:

        Darla… I have invented nothing cause I did not create that thread nor made Caity or any actress do anything that made that person create that thread about the microaggressions against Candice Patton. I did not smear anyone in pointing out the receipts that someone else collected in a twitter thread on those actresses’ actions. You can cape for Caity all you want for whatever reason you want just as i will consider her actions, as well as others, shady, (And I say that as someone who doesn’t actually care about Caity one way or the other… I am pretty indifferent to her)

        The Flash fandom is toxic for the same reason the Roswell NM fandom is toxic: misogynoir. I am tired of seeing it excused. I am not going to whitewash things or cape for folks blindly. If others want to do that, it’s on them. I posted that thread mainly so others had an idea about why folks think DP is racist towards CP…

      • AMM says:

        I can excuse the shipping and promoting stuff as not racially motivated, and more of a diva behavior. She was the more famous one at the start and probably expected to end up being the leading lady and is bitter that she’s not. It wouldn’t be unheard of – Arrow went away from the cannon relationship in favor of the sidekick/friend. I feel like that’s why she harped on chemistry so much – that’s what sold the Arrow directors on felicity. That’s not race specific and she probably would have promoted it had it been a less famous white woman as the lead, though she definitely took advantage of the racism against Candice to prop herself up.

        But dating James Wood and consistently not mentioning her in a movement she helped spearhead is definitely not just being a diva.

      • emmy says:

        Ali, I did. Stop it. People are crazy.

        And BTW, there’s no proof she dated James Woods. They were costars and a damn peck on the cheek does not a relationship make.

        People are losing the plot.

  10. milly says:

    Important context for James Gunn is missing in the article. 1) James witnessed his childhood friend get assaulted by a priest in church. He talked about how it messed him up long before the tweets came to light. 2) He apologized for the tweets years before right wingers dug it up and explained he was trying to make jokes to make light of his pain. 3) his brother implied that James was abused by the same priest.

    I don’t know who this Hartley guy is but those tweets are repugnant and far beyond what even outrage comics (don’t know the proper word) would find acceptable.

    • Leigh says:

      Being a witness to or victim of abuse doesn’t give you a pass to make horrible abuse jokes. There was a lot of straw grasping by Gunn, the people around him, and his fans to try to explain his nasty sense of humor because they were worried that he would lose his job. But… surprise! You almost never have to worry about a straight white man in the entertainment industry suffering any long term consequences.

      • milly says:

        He was processing HIS trauma. He didn’t abuse anyone. He was trying to deal with/avoid dealing with what he went through. I don’t approve of the way he did it but I’m not going to judge some ones coping method. One of my good friends was raped. She said a lot of twisted things before she came to terms with what happened to her.

    • Leigh says:

      And still he doesn’t get a pass.

  11. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Damn. There’s saying some regrettable things when younger and wishing you hadn’t, but damn. There’s no mincing the horrific pile of shit pouring out of that adult’s brain. He deserves his ass handed to him on a going-out-of-business cafeteria tray.

  12. TyrantDestroyed says:

    Those tweets are scary. He seems particularly fixated in dehumanizing and hurting women. Yikes.

  13. Leigh says:

    At the very least, I’ll bet this guy really has beaten his dog.

  14. schmootc says:

    I’ve always enjoyed the Ralph Dibny character, but I’m sure it’ll still be a good show without him. (Those tweets are BAD.) Disappointed to hear about racist fans being upset about Iris being Black, though sadly not surprised. People can be such useless a**holes.

  15. Lizzieb says:

    At first I thought it might not be too bad…I am not racist but have at times come up face to face with pre conceived notions about people and had to do some re-examining. Thought it might be like that…..But …nope. His tweets are disturbing. What worries me more is that he seems like a lot of people who wear a mask of ‘nice person’ and it’s only that, a mask. Am afraid he is more like his twitter alter ego than he lets on.

  16. Cyril says:

    Grubby posts and sloppy on his part not to have deleted them earlier.

  17. Angel says:

    Can’t see the tweets. The “account owner limits who can see the tweets.”