Hartley Sawyer, who played Kyle Abbott on CBS' The Young and the Restless, was fired from The CW's The Flash after racist, homophobic and misogynistic tweets resurfaced on social media. Sawyer's Twitter account is no longer active, but screenshots of the offensive tweets began circulating on social media amid the protests against systemic racism following George Floyd's death in Minneapolis on May 25. Sawyer starred as Ralph Dibney/The Elongated Man on The Flash for three seasons.
Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions, the studios behind the series, released a joint statement with The CW and executive producer Eric Wallace, confirmed Sawyer will not be coming back. "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," the statement to The Hollywood Reporter read. "Such remarks are antithetical to our values and policies, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce."
Wallace also posted a statement on Twitter, committing to "bringing permanent change to the work environment" on The Flash. He noted the series is meant for families of all kinds and he promised to continue adding diversity behind and in front of the cameras. "Their stories are part of the American narrative, too, and must be heard," Wallace wrote. "And the more you hear and see us, the more you will begin to recognize one simple fact: We're human beings, too." Grant Gustin, who plays Barry Allen/The Flash, shared Wallace's statement on Instagram. "I will say I was shocked, saddened and angry when I saw the tweets. Words matter," the actor wrote.
Late last month, screenshots of Sawyer's offensive tweets were shared on Twitter and were originally published between 2011 and 2014. "The only thing keeping me from doing mildly racist tweets is the knowledge that Al Sharpton would never stop complaining about me," Sawyer wrote in one 2012 tweet. During the 2013 Super Bowl, he wrote, "Super Bowl! America! 80% of the prison population is African American!" In November 2014, he wrote, Out at dinner and just exposed myself as a racist, AGAIN."
On May 30, Sawyer shared an apology on Instagram, a day after he shared a tweet showing his support for Black Lives Matter. "I am incredibly sorry, ashamed and disappointed in myself for my ignorance back then," Sawyer wrote on Instagram. "I want to be very clear: this is not reflective of what I think or who I am now."
The 35-year-old actor played Kyle Abbott on The Young and the Restless from April 2013 to January 2014. He made his debut as Ralph Dibny on The Flash in Season 4 and was promoted to series regular the following season. He is the latest person in Hollywood fired over offensive tweets. Just last week, Law & Order creator Dick Wolf fired writer Craig Gore from a new spinoff after Gore threatened to "light up" protesters in a tweet.