'Justice League' Investigator Backs DC Films' Walter Hamada After Ray Fisher Claims
On Saturday, actor Ray Fisher once again accused DC Films president Walter Hamada of attempting to interfere with an investigation into accusations of misconduct of the set of reshoots for Justice League. WarnerMedia responded with a statement backing Hamada, and also released a separate statement from a retired federal judge who oversaw one of the investigations into the Justice League reshoots.
"Do ya’ll remember that time Walter Hamada and @wbpictures tried to destroy a Black man’s credibility, and publicly delegitimize a very serious investigation, with lies in the press? But hey, Black Superman..." Fisher tweeted Saturday afternoon, referencing the news Friday that author and essayist Ta-Nehisi Coates would write a Superman movie for Warner Bros. and that the film will introduce a Black version of the character.
Heat Vision breakdown
Several hours after Fisher's tweet, WarnerMedia shared a statement from a retired federal judge who oversaw one of three investigations into misconduct on the set of Justice League. This is the first time an investigator has spoken publicly on the matter.
"I am disappointed by continued public statements made suggesting that Walter Hamada in any way interfered with the Justice League investigation. He did not," investigator and former federal judge Katherine B. Forrest said in a statement. "I interviewed him extensively on more than one occasion and specifically interviewed him concerning his very limited interaction with Mr. Fisher. I found Mr. Hamada credible and forthcoming. I concluded that he did nothing that impeded or interfered with the investigation. To the contrary, the information that he provided was useful and advanced the investigation."
In its own statement, WarnerMedia backed Hamada, as it has in the past.
"Once again there are false statements being made about our executives and our company surrounding the recent Justice League investigation," read the WarnerMedia statement. "As we have stated before, an extensive and thorough third-party investigation was conducted. Our executives, including Walter Hamada, fully cooperated, no evidence was found of any interference whatsoever, and Warner Bros. did not lie in the press. It’s time to stop saying otherwise and move forward productively."
Hamada, who rose through the ranks as an executive at New Line, was not involved in Justice League, and gained oversight of the DC Extended Universe in early 2018 when he assumed the role of DC Films president. However, Fisher has for several months accused the executive of attempting to interfere with the investigation.
On Dec. 11, 2020, WarnerMedia concluded an investigation into allegations of misconduct on the set of Justice League, taking remedial action.
The investigation followed a July 1, 2020 tweet in which Fisher alleged on Twitter that Joss Whedon had been abusive on the set of Justice League, the 2017 film he took over from original director Zack Snyder. The actor further claimed that producers Geoff Johns and Jon Berg enabled Whedon's alleged behavior. Berg has publicly denied wrongdoing, while Whedon and Johns have remained silent. Johns remains in business with Warners, as producer of Stargirl, Batwoman, Doom Patrol, Superman & Lois and Titans.
WarnerMedia opened an investigation into the claims, but on Sept. 4, Warner Bros. released a statement claiming Fisher was not cooperating with the third-party investigators looking into those allegations. Fisher denied this in a statement of his own. Fisher's Justice League co-star Jason Momoa — who has both Dune and an Aquaman sequel set with the studio — publicly backed Fisher in a blistering Sept. 14 statement aimed at Warners.
On Nov. 24, Joss Whedon announced he was stepping down from The Nevers, a series he was working on with WarnerMedia's HBO, saying in a statement, "I am genuinely exhausted, and am stepping back to martial my energy towards my own life, which is also at the brink of exciting change."
The exchange between WarnerMedia and fisher comes just weeks before Zack Snyder's Justice League hits HBO Max. That four-hour film, which Fisher shot new material four, is the culmination of filmmaker Snyder's vision for Justice League, which he originally stepped down from in 2017 after a family tragedy.
After WarnerMedia released its statement, Fisher wrote on Twitter, "As I’ve said from the start: Walter Hamada ATTEMPTED to interfere with the JL investigation. He was unsuccessful in doing so because I did not allow him to. Having the investigator make a statement claiming there was no interference is purposely misleading and desperate."
Feb. 27, 1:55 p.m. Updated with Ray Fisher's tweet responding to the WarnerMedia statement.
by Richard Newby
by Graeme McMillan
by Jennifer Konerman, THR staff
by Alex Ritman