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WarnerMedia stands by its investigation into the Justice League reshoots after Ray Fisher claimed an "abusive, unprofessional" work environment

By Benjamin VanHoose
January 14, 2021 10:33 AM
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Ray Fisher

Ray Fisher is speaking out after being removed from the upcoming The Flash movie.

Back in July, the 33-year-old actor, who played the superhero Cyborg in 2017's Justice League, prompted an investigation at WarnerMedia after he claimed that director Joss Whedon "was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable" during reshoots on the film. In December, WarnerMedia said the "investigation into the Justice League movie has concluded and remedial action has been taken."

(Whedon, 56, took over directing duties partway through filming after Zack Snyder stepped down due to a family tragedy. Snyder's new, longer cut of the Justice League will hit HBO Max this year.)

In a lengthy statement shared on Twitter Wednesday, Fisher said he "strongly" disagrees with being cut from The Flash film, though the choice was "unsurprising," he said. He also accused DC Films President Walter Hamada of "interfering" and attempting to "undermine" the investigation to "protect his friend, and former co-president, Geoff Johns."

Fisher also alleges his workplace complaints weren't properly elevated up the chain of command at first. He said he wants to "use what little power I possess to ensure that the workplace behavior exhibited during the Justice League reshoots (and its investigation) never happens again."

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"No one, in any profession, should have to argue with their employer for their claims of abuse, racism, and discrimination to be taken up the proper chain of command," he wrote. "And no one, in any position of leadership, should attempt to dissuade those wishing to report such claims from doing so."

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE on Thursday, WarnerMedia chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff defended Hamada.

"I believe in Walter Hamada and that he did not impede or interfere in the investigation. Furthermore, I have full confidence in the investigation's process and findings," reads the statement. "Walter is a well-respected leader, known by his colleagues, peers, and me as a man of great character and integrity. As I said in Walter's recent deal extension announcement, I'm excited about where he's taking DC Films and look forward to working with him and the rest of the team to build out the DC Multiverse."

The Flash is set to see the return of Ezra Miller as the fast-moving superhero, Barry Allen. The new film, directed by It filmmaker Andy Muschietti, is set for release in summer 2022 and is said to also costar Ben Affleck as Batman, with Michael Keaton also in talks to reprise his role as the Caped Crusader in the film.

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Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

WarnerMedia said in a separate statement that there was an "extensive investigation" conducted by an outside law firm that was "led by a former federal judge who has assured WarnerMedia that there were no impediments to the investigation."

"Last summer, Mr. Fisher was offered the opportunity to reprise his role as Cyborg in The Flash. Given his statement that he will not participate in any film associated with Mr. Hamada, our production is now moving on," reads the studio's statement. "Warner Bros. remains in business with Geoff Johns who continues to produce Stargirl, Batwoman, Doom Patrol, Superman & Lois and Titans for the studio, among other projects."

In an October interview with Forbes, Fisher alleged that "race was just one of the issues with the reshoot process." "There were massive blowups, threats, coercion, taunting, unsafe work conditions, belittling, and gaslighting like you wouldn't believe," he said at the time.

The actor added that "a lot of folks from the cast and crew reached out to show their support, some expected and some less so. I've tried my best to handle things privately and to let HR process play, but the only thing that seems to move the needle has been me applying pressure publicly."

A rep for Whedon did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.