On May 20, 2020, director Zack Snyder announced at the conclusion of an online watch party for Man Of Steel, that the director’s cut of Justice League would finally be released and shown on HBO Max sometime next year, much to the happiness and satisfaction of many, and to the anger and frustration of others.
A month after that announcement was made, Ray Fisher, who plays Victor Stone a.k.a. Cyborg in Justice League, let everyone know via Twitter that every word of support he had for writer/director Joss Whedon when he took over as director of Justice League after Snyder relinquished his duties and stepped away due to a family tragedy, was nothing but 100% bulls—t because Whedon was an abusive prick on the set of Justice League toward the cast and crew while filming reshoots, and that Geoff Johns and Jon Berg (the producers in charge of running DC Films for Warner Bros. until the box-office failure of Justice League) pretty much allowed his abusive behavior to happen without any actual consequences.
As the weeks passed by, Fisher stayed the course and made it clear with his tweets (and with his recent interview with @ya_girlmeg and @TheNerdQueens for the DCEU-themed online convention JusticeCon) how serious he was about making sure that Whedon, Johns, and Berg would answer for their conduct and that it would be brought to light, while also showing support for others who spoke out about their own discrimination and mistreatment on the sets of other films and television shows.
Our industry will not advance unless we are willing to speak the names of those preventing it from doing so!— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) July 26, 2020
Thank you for standing up and speaking out @PeterShinkoda
I stand with you. https://t.co/sw7yMvp4o0
Ray Fisher claims he is building a case against Joss Whedon for his misconduct on the set of JUSTICE LEAGUE: “The man is probably scared, and he should be.” pic.twitter.com/yNxJJBQ3lc— cleopatra (@dragonnaydra) July 25, 2020
Fisher continued to say “Jon Berg’s denial and enabling of the [unprofessional behavior] was asinine, tone-deaf and completely disrespectful” and that “he should also be scared.” pic.twitter.com/9RnoXclzsG— cleopatra (@dragonnaydra) July 25, 2020
During the LA reshoots for Justice League, Geoff Johns summoned me to his office to belittle and admonish my (and my agent’s) attempts to take grievances up the proper chain of command.— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) August 12, 2020
He then made a thinly veiled threat to my career.
This behavior cannot continue.
Once WarnerMedia finally launched an investigation into everything that Fisher had said, he had cause to celebrate and breathe a little easier.
After 5 weeks of interviews with various cast/crew, @WarnerMedia has officially launched an independent third-party investigation to get to the heart of the toxic and abusive work environment created during Justice League reshoots.— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) August 20, 2020
This is a MASSIVE step forward!
I believe this investigation will show that Geoff Johns, Joss Whedon, Jon Berg (and others) grossly abused their power during the uncertainty of AT&T’s merger with Time Warner.— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) August 20, 2020
Thank you @WarnerMedia and @ATT for making strides to ensure a safer workplace for all!🙏🏽
Fisher had, and still has, lots of people supporting him online for speaking out (much of that support evidenced by usage of the hashtag #IStandWithRayFisher), but because he signed a non-disclosure agreement and couldn’t offer any specific details about what Whedon, Johns, and Berg had done on set during the Justice League reshoots, there were also people who expressed doubts as to whether Fisher was telling the truth. Not only did the doubters refuse to believe what he was saying unless he offered up very detailed receipts for their satisfaction but some of them chose to show their support for Whedon instead of Fisher, despite the fact that Whedon has been called out in the past for his own indiscretions. Two of those people being a well-known YouTube personality named Jody (of Jody’s Corner) and his colleague, Andy Signore, (who is also well-known for…very unpleasant reasons), who were called out by Ray for making homophobic jokes (which isn’t entirely new for Jody, as he has a reputation for thinking that being offensive is the same thing as being funny) and resulted in Jody and Andy’s fans lashing out at Fisher and siding with Whedon, Johns, and Berg.
I’m able to tolerate a lot of things.— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) July 28, 2020
Homophobic name calling is NOT one of them.
Not sure who the person heard laughing in the background is, but they should both be ashamed.
Thank you @poindxterlounge for shining a light on this ignorance.
Some of those same people who are doubting Fisher believe that this is all nothing more than Fisher being petty and spiteful toward Whedon because his screentime as Cyborg in Justice League was decreased and drastically changed from what was originally in the script before Snyder stepped down. (Mind you, Fisher said that he had spoken to both Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio about how Cyborg and his parents would be portrayed onscreen and that they both welcomed his input) They posit that he is a liar who is only using this situation as leverage against Warner Bros. to make sure that he appears in The Flash opposite Ezra Miller (which is expected to open in theaters sometime in 2022) and possibly get his own solo film; he should just shut up and stop causing problems and be grateful for the fact that Snyder hired him to be Cyborg in the first place (which certainly wouldn’t remind anyone of another Black actor in a popular science-fiction franchise who has been told the same thing when speaking up about his own mistreatment); that this is all example after example of Fisher (who has said more than once that if he is blackballed by Hollywood and can never again appear in another film or television series as a result of him speaking out, he’s willing to accept that) being a diva toward Warner Bros. to get more name recognition for himself. (One of those being that Fisher had approached Snyder about making sure that his barber was actually credited for his work in the film, which didn’t happen in the theatrical version of Justice League, and considering that Black barbers and hairstylists in the entertainment industry have to deal with just as much bulls—t and discrimination themselves as the Black actors and actresses they take care of, it doesn’t really come off as a difficult request.)
Here is where things started to get even uglier.
Last Friday, Fisher tweeted that he had been contacted by Walter Hamada, current president of DC Films, about everything he was saying about Whedon, Johns, and Berg on the set of Justice League. And what Walter had to say was…
So you can better understand how deep this goes:— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) September 4, 2020
After speaking out about Justice League, I received a phone call from the President of DC Films wherein he attempted to throw Joss Whedon and Jon Berg under the bus in hopes that I would relent on Geoff Johns.
I will not.
Which made a lot of people on the Internet respond like this…
And which made Warner Bros. react like this…
…right before they clapped back at Fisher and said that not only was he lying about Hamada, but that he wasn’t even cooperating with the investigation in the first place.
On Friday, Fisher tweeted that Hamada “attempted to throw Joss Whedon and Jon Berg under the bus in hopes that I would relent on Geoff Johns.” Johns is a star DC Comics writer and is currently basking in the strong reviews and even stronger sales of the first issue of his latest work, Three Jokers.
In a statement Friday, a studio spokesperson defended Hamada, saying, “At no time did Mr. Hamada ever ‘throw anyone under the bus,’ as Mr. Fisher has falsely claimed, or render any judgments about the Justice League production, in which Mr. Hamada had no involvement since filming occurred before Mr. Hamada was elevated to his current position.”
The studio also stated that Fisher has so far refused to cooperate with the investigation, noting that “to date, Mr. Fisher has declined to speak to the investigator.”
But the following day, Fisher appeared on Twitter like…
…and showed screenshots of an e-mail that indicated he was very willing to cooperate with the investigation, except there was one glaring reason as to why he couldn’t and wouldn’t.
Thank you all for the support and for seeing through @wbpictures desperate and scattershot attempt to discredit me to continue protecting those in power.— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) September 5, 2020
I met with the investigator via Zoom on Aug 26th. Below is an email I sent to my team and @sagaftra immediately after:
It’s also worth noting that I made it clear to the world on Aug 21st that I would be vetting the investigator to ensure a fair and protected process for all witnesses. @wbpictures has escalated this to an entirely different level, but I’m ready to meet the challenge.— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) September 5, 2020
It really is a shame that @wbpictures willfully chose to publicly undermine the seriousness of the toxicity and abuse that myself and others have reported to WB HR and Labor Relations— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) September 7, 2020
They tried to minimize me as being an actor with petty creative differences.
Which only served to remind a lot of people that Warner Bros., the same studio that told everyone how Joss Whedon was a friend of Zack Snyder who was personally selected by Snyder to take over as director of Justice League, that reshoots would still match the very same tone and style of what Snyder had done, that very few changes would be made to the film overall, and who insisted that Justice League complete its production and open in theaters in 2017 so that its executives could get their year-end bonuses, was willing to lie and play dirty to get what they want. So why should we take their word over that of Ray Fisher’s?
Really makes you think… https://t.co/pvS9A84fCY— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) September 6, 2020
Throughout this entire ordeal, people were wondering if any other cast members from Justice League would speak up on Fisher’s behalf and confirm what he was saying. A few of them had interpreted this silence as proof that Fisher is acting on his own and that he is the one spouting bulls—t and false accusations toward Warner Bros. and its employees, despite previous statements where he had said that other cast members were willing to speak up, but he wanted to carry the weight of this on his own for now, since they have a lot more to lose career-wise.
And then yesterday, Ray Fisher got some support from one of his castmates, who made it very loud and clear whose side he was on: Jason Momoa, a.k.a. Aquaman, courtesy of this photo that was posted on his Instagram page:
Jason’s usage of the #IStandWithRayFisher hashtag, along with the accompanying photo of Fisher showing his “I Heart Zack Snyder” T-shirt at San Diego Comic-Con back in 2017, letting the world know that his loyalty was really with Zack Snyder and not Joss Whedon, made more people sit up and take notice of the fact that everything Fisher was saying is most definitely worth listening to, despite their reluctance to do so.
Ray Fisher isn’t alone in his fight to expose the abusive behavior at WB.— Walt (@UberKryptonian) September 7, 2020
Jason Momoa, the star of a billion dollar WB franchise, publicly standing by Ray Fisher is only the beginning. This is going to change things. #IStandWithRayFisher pic.twitter.com/KOHxT7IBDj
If Jason Momoa supporting Ray Fisher is what gets you to believe Ray, then take a moment to think about why you didn’t want to believe the black man until someone else came in.— Walt (@UberKryptonian) September 7, 2020
In 48 hours, Ray Fisher went from being called "uncooperative" to Jason Momoa now demonstrably standing with him.— TheFliteCast (@TheFliteCast) September 7, 2020
Still think he's just being dramatic? pic.twitter.com/whzS2HRAKR
Ray Fisher has a lot to lose by speaking up and that’s why I believe him. I don’t believe he would risk his career if he wasn’t mistreated in the workplace. Yes he reported it to management first but it seems like his complaints were ignored or downplayed by them.— Anthony (@BrooklynBatman_) September 5, 2020
Crazy how there's always more outrage when Zack Snyder says anything but when Ray Fisher speaks on how he was mistreated by higher powers at WB there isn't much outrage.— PiScEs27 AKA: Gandalf's Apprentice (@Josh2Gud4U) September 5, 2020
Some people have been real quiet since that Momoa post— Joey Moreno (@Joebear94) September 8, 2020
Ray Fisher has everything to lose and little to gain from taking on WB.— 🏳️🌈Mary🏳️🌈 (@sapphicgeek) September 5, 2020
I believe him.
Ray Fisher and John Boyega are ready to get together and have a conversation about their Hollywood experiences in big franchises.— Walt (@UberKryptonian) September 3, 2020
The two Kings together supporting each other. You love to see it. pic.twitter.com/PcIu43rYbj
It’s still too soon to tell what will happen next. Will WarnerMedia bring the hammer down on Walter Hamada, Joss Whedon, Geoff Johns, and Jon Berg? What are Joss Whedon and Jon Berg thinking right now after seeing what Fisher said about how Hamada is more than willing to throw both of their asses under the bus just to keep Johns as part of the family? (Especially since Joss Whedon still has his upcoming show, The Nevers, set to premiere on HBO?) And who will be the next Justice League cast member to show their support to Fisher with the #IStandWithRayFisher?
For the last question, it probably won’t take long for Fisher to receive any additional support from his castmates, especially since they were willing to support Zack Snyder and use the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag to let everyone know that the director’s cut of Justice League deserved to be seen.
As for the other questions, and what lies in store for both Ray Fisher and the people at Warner Bros. that he has been calling out?
Header Image Source: Warner Bros.