Senior HTF Member
- Jul 31, 2003
Good analysis of the situation.The person I feel bad for is Natalie Dreyfuss. She was phenomenal as Sue, didn't do anything wrong, but will probably be dropped from the show if they write Ralph out rather than recast.
He was hired during Andrew Kreisberg's tenure as showrunner. Kreisberg is a misogynist himself who was fired after nineteen different people filed sexual harassment claims against him. So it makes sense that he didn't have the same problem with Sawyer's tweets that the show's current leadership did.
You can even tell the difference in Ralph's characterization after Kreisberg was fired, with the sleazier and more sexist sides of the character being dropped.
There are three key differences between this situation and the James Gunn situation:
- James Gunn had already apologized for his offensive online postings and worked to prove that he had changed at the time that Disney fired him. By contrast, Hartley Sawyer didn't address his offensive online postings until the tweets resurfaced last week. And while Gunn's pedophilia humor was arguably more disturbing than Sawyer's tweets, Sawyer was racist and sexist -- failings that each have a sizable movement behind eradicating. To defend a racist right now especially, with everything that's going on in the country, would not go over well at all, and neither The CW nor Warner Bros. Television is going to take the heat for a relatively unknown actor in a supporting role.
- James Gunn had the steadfast support of his cast and, who even publicly signed a letter of support. By contrast, showrunner Eric Wallace first name on the call sheet Grant Gustin publicly supported Sawyer's firing.
- James Gunn is considered indispensable to the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. He's the writer and director of both of the Guardians movies made to date, which have grossed over a billion and a half dollars collectively. He's consulted on the other live action projects where the Guardians have appeared. By contrast, the three highest rated seasons of the "The Flash" were the ones before Ralph Dibney was introduced. They know they can make the show without him because they've already done it.
Different offenses. Being drunk and disorderly isn't the PR nightmare that being a racist misogynist is, and it was a one time isolated incident. If it became a pattern, like Sawyer's tweets were, the calculus would likely change significantly.