Warner Bros. Says Ray Fisher Not Cooperating with 'Justice League' Misconduct Investigation
Warner Bros. has accused Justice League actor Ray Fisher of not cooperating with a misconduct investigation and backed its DC Films president Walter Hamada in a statement late Friday night. On Saturday, Fisher responded in a series of tweets, in which he provided an email he says he sent to his team and to SAG-AFTRA following a meeting with an investigator. However, he said he left the conversation when he learned there was a second person on the line.
Fisher, who played Cyborg in the 2017 movie, had previously alleged misconduct by filmmaker Joss Whedon on set, and said producers Jon Berg and Geoff Johns enabled the filmmaker's alleged behavior. While Fisher has not revealed specifics, the studio did launch an investigation earlier in the summer.
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On Friday, Fisher tweeted that Hamada "attempted to throw Joss Whedon and Jon Berg under the bus in hopes that I would relent on Geoff Johns." Johns is a star DC Comics writer and is currently basking in the strong reviews and even stronger sales of the first issue of his latest work, Three Jokers.
In a statement Friday, a studio spokesperson defended Hamada, saying, "At no time did Mr. Hamada ever 'throw anyone under the bus,' as Mr. Fisher has falsely claimed, or render any judgments about the Justice League production, in which Mr. Hamada had no involvement since filming occurred before Mr. Hamada was elevated to his current position."
The studio also stated that Fisher has so far refused to cooperate with the investigation, noting that "to date, Mr. Fisher has declined to speak to the investigator."
On Saturday, Fisher shared a statement saying he did, in fact, meet with an investigator via Zoom on Aug. 26. He also accused the studio of stoking the situation, writing Warner Bros. "has escalated this to an entirely different level, but I’m ready to meet the challenge."
It’s also worth noting that I made it clear to the world on Aug 21st that I would be vetting the investigator to ensure a fair and protected process for all witnesses. @wbpictures has escalated this to an entirely different level, but I’m ready to meet the challenge.
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) September 5, 2020
This is the latest in a back-and-forth between the actor and the studio that began on July 1, when Fisher tweeted that filmmaker Whedon's "on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable." (Whedon took over directing duties on Justice League after Zack Snyder stepped away from the project in 2017.) Fisher went on to allege that producers Johns and Berg had enabled the filmmaker and his alleged behavior.
Complicating matters is that Fisher is also deep in negotiations to reprise his role as Cyborg for a cameo in Ezra Miller's The Flash, which is due to shoot next year and already counts Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton — both back as versions of Batman — among the cast. Last month, Fisher was among the Justice League stars who participated in a DC FanDome panel celebrating HBO Max's upcoming release of a four-part miniseries that will be Snyder's cut of the project.
Whedon and Johns have remained silent following Fisher's claims in July, while Berg has publicly denied them.
Read the full statement from Warner Bros.' spokesperson below.
In July, Ray Fisher’s representatives asked DC Films President Walter Hamada to talk to Mr. Fisher about his concerns during the production of “Justice League.” The two had previously spoken when Mr. Hamada asked him to reprise his role as Cyborg in Warner Bros.’ upcoming Flash movie, together with other members of the Justice League. In their July conversation, Mr. Fisher recounted disagreements he’d had with the film’s creative team regarding his portrayal of Cyborg, and complained that his suggested script revisions were not adopted. Mr. Hamada explained that creative differences are a normal part of the production process, and that a film’s writer/director ultimately has to be in charge of these matters. Notably, Mr. Hamada also told Mr. Fisher that he would elevate his concerns to WarnerMedia so they could conduct an investigation. At no time did Mr. Hamada ever “throw anyone under the bus,” as Mr. Fisher has falsely claimed, or render any judgments about the “Justice League” production, in which Mr. Hamada had no involvement, since filming occurred before Mr. Hamada was elevated to his current position.
While Mr. Fisher never alleged any actionable misconduct against him, WarnerMedia nonetheless initiated an investigation into the concerns he’d raised about his character’s portrayal. Still not satisfied, Mr. Fisher insisted that WarnerMedia hire an independent third party investigator. This investigator has attempted multiple times to meet with Mr. Fisher to discuss his concerns but, to date, Mr. Fisher has declined to speak to the investigator. Warner Bros. remains committed to accountability and to the well-being of every cast and crew member on each of its productions. It also remains committed to investigating any specific and credible allegation of misconduct, which thus far Mr. Fisher has failed to provide.
This story has been updated to reflect Ray Fisher's response to the Warner Bros. statement.
by Sharareh Drury, Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya