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Hartley Sawyer: A Tale of another Rising Star Tapered by the Cancel Culture

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Hartley Sawyer made a name for himself on The CW series, “The Flash” as the fast-talking superhero cop, Ralph Dibny aka Elongated Man. However, before he could bask in his stardom, the icon lost it all thanks to a mistake dug out from his past.

In 2021, The CW dropped the bombshell announcement that Hartley Sawyer would not return for the seventh season of “The Flash.”

Their decision stemmed from a series of resurfaced tweets painting the actor, who played Elongated Man, as racist and misogynistic. Although Sawyer has long apologized for his mistakes, it seems Hollywood is not too keen to forgive him just yet.

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With little being heard about the actor since the firing, it appears Sawyer, like many once-famous stars before him, has fallen prey to the cancel culture.

Where The Journey Began

Sawyer’s rise to stardom began following his casting in the CBS drama, “The Young And The Restless,” as Kyle Abbot. He played the role from April 2013 to January 27, 2014, winning hearts and proving his acting prowess.

CBS announced his exit from the soap opera in December 2013. Months later, the icon starred in the 2014 movie, “Kept Man,” and the superhero comedy, “Caper.”

He went on to explore other showbiz opportunities in the months that followed, including hosting and co-writing the docu-series, “Courageous Leaders.”

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After exploring his multifaceted talents, The CW allowed Sawyer put on the cape again in the superhero flick, “The Flash.”

Becoming Elongated Man

While movies like “SPIN,” and “Caper,” notably put Sawyer on the Hollywood map, snagging a role on “The Flash,” remains his biggest career break. The actor starred as Ralph Dibny, a private investigator capable of stretching his body and assuming any shape or form.

His superpowers earned him the name, Elongated Man. First appearing in the fourth season of the series in the episode, “An Elongated Journey Into the Night,” in 2017, Sawyer easily captured the hearts of viewers, so much that he was promoted to a series regular the next year.

His character remained a member of Team Flash for the next two seasons. Just when Hartley Sawyer seemed unstoppable, his career took a hard hit thanks to a series of resurfaced tweets.

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Haunted By The Past

May 2020 marked the onset of Hartley Sawyer’s Hollywood spiral in the heat of the Black Lives Matter movement. A series of racist and misogynistic rants tweeted by the actor between 2009 and 2014 came to light.

The tweets showed some brazen and distasteful humor promoting sexism, misogyny, and racism. Some of the controversial posts seemingly made light of sexual assault and wife-beating.

Others objectified women by sexualizing certain parts of their bodies. He also made harsh remarks about politics and diverse races. The leaked tweets could not have come at a more strategic time as just a day prior, Sawyer voiced his support for the Black Lives Matter movement on Instagram.

The Fall Of An Icon

Shortly after the leaked screenshots of his tweets went viral, Sawyer took to Instagram to issue a public apology for his past error. In his post, the star noted that he realized just how hurtful and unacceptable his words were despite being intended to drive humor.

He also admitted he regretted those words, which he blurted out with “no thoughts of the harm” they could do. Going further, Sawyer clarified that those words did not reflect his thoughts or personality, but were simply past mistakes.

Sawyer revealed he began a journey to become a better person years ago. With the help of friends who pointed out his errors, he has made progress and become a more responsible adult in terms of his words, thoughts, and actions.

Despite his progress, Sawyer affirmed turning a new leaf and reinventing himself did not reduce the impact of his words. Neither did they take the responsibility off his shoulders. He proceeded to delete his Twitter account in a show of good fate.

His apology received over 72 thousand likes, which could have been indicative of fans’ willingness to forgive him. But that was not to be the case.

The Tough Penalty

A week after releasing his public apology, The CW severed ties with the actor, announcing he would not be returning for the seventh season of “The Flash.”

The network also released a statement on Twitter, saying they had zero tolerance for derogatory remarks that target any race, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.

“The Flash” showrunner Eric Wallace also opened up about plans to work around Hartley Sawyer’s exit from the show. Rather than kill off the Elongated man, they opted to put the character to rest, thereby leaving the window open for what the future brings.

The series has returned for two more seasons since then, with no traces of Sawyer. Sadly, the repercussions of his controversial tweet did not end in his firing from The CW.

In fact, since the scandal, Sawyer’s career has been on a downward spiral, with producers unwilling to risk casting him. Gradually, what should have been simply firing from one show, has become a full-blown dive into the cancel culture.

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