Warner Bros' CEO Ann Sarnoff recently confirmed that even though Zack Snyder's Justice League finally got to see the light of day, his Snyderverse will not be restored, no matter how much the fans campaign. She also spoke at length about actor Ray Fisher's previous claims of facing abusive and racist treatment on the sets of Justice League in 2017. She stressed that his accusations against the production company as well as its executives have been fallacious.
Previously in July 2020, Ray Fisher had made accusations against Warner Bros' executives and Joss Whedon on social media, wherein he had blamed him for his "gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable" behaviour on the sets of Justice League. Following his comments, Warner Bros conducted an internal investigation that wrapped up in December 2020 with the production company announcing that the "investigation into the Justice League movie has concluded and remedial action has been taken."
Now, Sarnoff has put forward her comments on the issue and claimed that the Cyborg actor's claims were unfounded.
"Our investigator, Judge Katherine Forrest, has issued statements specifically about [DC Films president] Walter Hamada, saying that there was no evidence of interference by Walter in the investigation. She said that the cuts made in the Joss Whedon version of 'Justice League' were not racially motivated. We took it very seriously, so we hired one of the top investigators out there and gave her a tremendous amount of leeway."
Sarnoff also denied that Ray Fisher is bound by a non-disclosure agreement that stops him from sharing specifics about the abusive behaviour he faced during the filming of Justice League. She further clarified that contrary to Fisher's claims, Walter Hamada (the current DC Films President), exhibited no racism on the sets of the film and is, in fact, determined about "bringing in diverse voices."
"About a year ago, Walter, [Warner Bros. Pictures Group head] Toby Emmerich, me, [former WarnerMedia chairman] Bob Greenblatt, [former HBO Max content chief] Kevin Reilly, and [HBO Max original programming head] Sarah Aubrey sat around the table with Zack and greenlit the Snyder cut," Sarnoff said. "That cut includes Ray Fisher's entire story as Cyborg, which is something that he had been disappointed had been cut from the Justice League movie three years ago. Perhaps we've lost the plot a little bit which is that Toby and Walter were part of the green-lighting that allowed Zack's vision to come to life, which includes sharing the full story about Ray's character. There really was nothing that Walter did against Ray, in fact, he offered him a role in the Flash movie."
"Walter was promoted recently. I am fully supportive of Toby and Walter and their visions. I truly believe they are great executives. Walter happens to be a person of color, so he knows what that feels like. He is bringing in diverse voices at an accelerated pace, more than anyone has in the past," she added.
Ray Fisher wasted no time in responding to Sarnoff's comments and took to Twitter to share his opinion.
"Apparently some folks at @WarnerMedia think that a room full of executives saying 'we can't an angry Black man at the center of the movie' (and then reducing/removing all Black and POC from that movie) isn't racist. Odd," wrote the Cyborg actor."
"As I've said-people will attempt to shift blame completely to Joss Whedon for the Justice League reshoots. Toby Emmerich, Geoff Johns, and Jon Berg share in that responsibility; with Johns working directly with Joss on restructuring the script based on the execs' convos," added Fisher. "Furthermore: 'There really was nothing that Walter did against Ray, in fact he offered him a role in the Flash movie." AND 'Walter happens to be a person of color, so he knows what that feels like.' are the absolute definition of tone-deaf."
The news comes to us via Variety.