Warner Bros. has released a statement of support for DC Films president Walter Hamada, as Justice League actor Ray Fisher alleges that the exec undermined a misconduct investigation into racist behavior in order to protect his “friend and former co-president,” producer Geoff Johns.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Fisher first sounded the alarm on Justice League’s production—specifically, the reshoot process—last summer, writing on Twitter that director Joss Whedon, who took over the production for Zack Snyder, had been abusive on set.
“[Whedon's] on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable,” Fisher wrote at the time, adding, “He was enabled, in many ways, by [producers] Geoff Johns and Jon Berg.” (Whedon, Johns, and Berg had no comment at the time, THR notes.)
Warner Bros. launched an investigation last August, and announced its conclusion in December with a brief, vague statement that claimed that “remedial action has been taken.”
Now Fisher’s character, Cyborg, has been cut from The Flash—a decision Fisher addressed with a lengthy statement posted to Twitter Wednesday night, in which he also alleged that Hamada purposefully impeded Warner’s misconduct investigation.
Fisher claimed that Johns was “a major contributor to the issues experienced—including blatant racism,” and added that given Hamada’s alleged actions, the DC Films exec is “unfit for a position of leadership.”
Warner, however, is standing by Hamada. In a statement provided to The Daily Beast, a representative for WarnerMedia writes, “As has been previously stated, an extensive investigation was conducted by an outside law firm, led by a former federal judge who has assured WarnerMedia that there were no impediments to the investigation.”
“Last summer, Mr. Fisher was offered the opportunity to reprise his role as Cyborg in The Flash. Given his statement that he will not participate in any film associated with Mr. Hamada, our production is now moving on,” the statement continues. “Warner Bros. remains in business with Geoff Johns who continues to produce Stargirl, Batwoman, Doom Patrol, Superman & Lois, and Titans for the studio, among other projects.”
WarnerMedia chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff adds in her own statement, “I believe in Walter Hamada and that he did not impede or interfere in the investigation. Furthermore, I have full confidence in the investigation’s process and findings. Walter is a well-respected leader, known by his colleagues, peers, and me as a man of great character and integrity. As I said in Walter’s recent deal extension announcement, I’m excited about where he’s taking DC Films and look forward to working with him and the rest of the team to build out the DC Multiverse.”
But Fisher alleges that his interactions with Hamada were not nearly so collegial. “[W]hile Walter’s behavior was not a point of focus for the investigation of the Justice League reshoots,” the actor wrote in his Twitter statement, “his dangerous and enabling actions during the investigation process must be called into account.”
Fisher wrote that during a nearly hour-long phone call, Hamada resisted his request to validate his claims of misconduct against Whedon, Johns, and Berg—instead disparaging Whedon and Berg “in an attempt to cover for Geoff Johns.” When Fisher informed Hamada that Johns was part of the problem, the actor alleges that the exec tried to convince him to reveal the names of witnesses and details “that could be used to forewarn Geoff of the claims being brought against him.”
“Walter even went so far as to sharply dismiss certain claims of mine as untrue because of his work experience and personal relationship with Geoff,” Fisher added, further alleging that Hamada eventually relented, sending his complaints through the proper channels while joking that he didn’t want Fisher to put him “on Twitter about this.”
As far as Fisher is concerned, “Walter’s actions have transformed this narrative from an investigation of on-set misconduct in 2017 to the examination of the present day cover-up culture of Hollywood.”