Ray Fisher refuses to stop pursuing Warner Bros. for racist and creative misconduct he faced during the making of ‘Justice League’
The DCEU’s ‘Justice League’ has been warped in controversy since its genesis. The tug of war between the initial director Zack Snyder and Warner Brothers. did not turn out too well, with Snyder ultimately leaving the project. However, creative conflicts have not been the sole source of contention. The film is also associated with racist behaviour pervasive in Hollywood, as brought to the limelight by Ray Fisher, the African-American actor who played Cyborg in the film and ended up being removed from Warner Bros.’ ‘The Flash’ movie.
- The DCEU Cyborg ruined by WB
- Misconduct faced by Ray Fisher
- Ray Fisher’s plan to take revenge
Joss Whedon’s Takeover
Zack Snyder and ‘Justice League’ screenwriter Chris Terrio “always considered Cyborg’s story to be the heart of the movie”. As seen in ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’, Cyborg or Victor did end up having the most pronounced arc where he felt “whole” and “loved”.
Snyder and Terrio had approached Cyborg’s character with the utmost consideration. They accepted the inputs by Ray Fisher since both of them are White while Ray is an actor of colour. Ray’s contributions to the character made him a “partner in creating Victor”.
However, Snyder exited the project and, Joss Whedon, who had helmed many films for Marvel, including ‘Avengers’, took over. This threw Ray Fisher’s plans about his character out of the window since Joss Whedon said he didn’t like to be given “notes”, not even from Robert Downey Jr. Joss Whedon has also been accused of neglecting the vision of the dynamic Gal Gadot and Aquaman Jason Momoa.
Racist Warner Bros.
As the shoot for ‘Justice League’ proceeded, Ray Fisher, in his own words, had to “explain some of the most basic points of what would be offensive to the Black community”. If micro-feeding Whedon about what is problematic was not enough, Ray’s troubles were further aggravated by Warner Bros. and Whedon’s arrogance.
In July 2020, Ray Fisher called out Joss Whedon for his “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” on-set treatment of the cast and crew while filming ‘Justice League’.
According to Fisher, ‘Justice League’s’ producer and former head of production at Warner Bros., Jon Berg, as well as former Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment Geoff Johns “enabled” Whendon’s behaviour. He also alleged that Berg and Johns entertained “racist conversations” during the movie’s second filming. Jon Berg has “categorically” refuted these claims.
In addition, Fisher has also made claims that Joss Whedon pursued to change the skin tone of an actor of colour during the post-production process of ‘Justice League’. This turned out to be the “tipping point” for him, which made him speak up. He also tweeted a video of him appreciating Joss Whedon but mentioned in the caption that he retracts whatever he has said in the clip.
After these allegations, Warner Bros. could not take the chance to remove the Cyborg actor in a politically sensitive environment. Instead, they called Fisher’s claims “false” and took up an investigation into the accusations, conveniently not finding any misconduct.
As Fisher had stated that Warner Bros. prioritized entertainment over accountability, Warner Bros. issued a clarification on the same, “Warner Bros. remains committed to accountability and to the well-being of every cast and crew member on each of its productions”. They did this not only to save face but also because they badly need Ray Fisher’s Cyborg to stay in the DCEU.
Fisher refused to appear in the upcoming ‘The Flash‘ film because Warner Bros. had slashed his pay and treated his appearance as a cameo, whereas his part would have taken two weeks to shoot.
Ray Fisher Wants Revenge
About a year since he first disclosed the racist culture in Warner Bros., Ray Fisher does not show any intention of letting go of the matter and plans to “stay the course”. He mentioned he has been suggested to do so by several industry professionals.
Fisher has also accused Warner Bros.’ Walter Hamada of impeding the investigation conducted by the media giant against his claims. He is bent on getting his revenge for the “dangerous game” played against him by Warner Bros.
However, this also creates apprehension that Warner Bros. might end up getting him removed from the DCEU. No stand-alone film is slated for Ray Fisher’s Cyborg in the DCEU. Given his precarious situation, should Ray Fisher continue to mess with Warner Bros., considering that Cyborg’s need in the DCEU has diminished after Zack Snyder’s ‘Justice League’?
What do you make of Ray Fisher’s tussle with Warner Bros.? Comment below.