Justice League actor Ray Fisher has finally provided some specifics regarding his accusations against director Joss Whedon as well as a number of Warner Bros. executives including Geoff Johns and Jon Berg.
At the end of June, Fisher took to his Instagram, where he shared a video of him from San Diego Comic Con praising Joss Whedon and describing him as a great guy.
However, Fisher captioned the video writing, “I’d like to take a moment to forcefully retract every bit of this statement.”
Then at the beginning of July, Fisher accused Whedon of “abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behavior on the set of Justice League.
He would also claim that Whedon was “enabled, in many ways by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg.”
At the end of July, Fisher would write on Twitter, “I understand full well the personal and professional risks associated with my speaking out against the abhorrent behavior of Joss Whedon and his enablers —Geoff Johns and Jon Berg. I will not relent. This is ‘good trouble, necessary trouble.'”
Fisher would then follow that up with a tweet in August accusing Geoff Johns threatening his career.
Fisher wrote, “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. He then made a thinly veiled threat to my career. This behavior cannot continue.”
Fisher then applauded Warner Media launching an investigation into his accusations.
He wrote, “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. This is a MASSIVE step forward!”
In a subsequent tweet, he added, “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. Thank you WarnerMedia and AT&T for making strides to ensure a safer workplace for all!”
Then on September 4th, Fisher wrote, “So you can better understand how deep this goes: 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.”
WarnerMedia would then release a statement through a spokesperson in response to Fisher’s accusations.
It read, “In July, Ray Fisher’s representatives asked DC Films President Walter Hamada to talk to Mr. Fisher about his concerns during the production of Justice League. The two had previously spoken when Mr. Hamada asked him to reprise his role as Cyborg in Warner Bros.’ upcoming Flash movie, together with other members of the Justice League.”
“In their July conversation, Mr. Fisher recounted disagreements he’d had with the film’s creative team regarding his portrayal of Cyborg, and complained that his suggested script revisions were not adopted. Mr. Hamada explained that creative differences are a normal part of the production process, and that a film’s writer/director ultimately has to be in charge of these matters,” it continued,” the spokesperson continued.
They then added, “Notably, Mr. Hamada also told Mr. Fisher that he would elevate his concerns to WarnerMedia so they could conduct an investigation. 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.”
“While Mr. Fisher never alleged any actionable misconduct against him, WarnerMedia nonetheless initiated an investigation into the concerns he’d raised about his character’s portrayal. Still not satisfied, Mr. Fisher insisted that WarnerMedia hire an independent third party investigator,” the statement read.
The statement concluded, “This investigator has attempted multiple times to meet with Mr. Fisher to discuss his concerns but, to date, Mr. Fisher has declined to speak to the investigator. Warner Bros. remains committed to accountability and to the well-being of every cast and crew member on each of its productions. It also remains committed to investigating any specific and credible allegation of misconduct, which thus far Mr. Fisher has failed to provide.”
In response to this statement, Fisher wrote on Twitter, “Thank you all for the support and for seeing through WB Pictures desperate and scattershot attempt to discredit me to continue protecting those in power. I met with the investigator via Zoom on Aug 26th. Below is an email I sent to my team and SAG-AFTRA immediately after.”
The email reads, “Just got off the line with the investigator. Had to end the interview early before going into detail with him. He’s definitely been put on the case by Warner Bros. Pictures not Warner Media. His findings will go directly and solely to Warner Bros. Pictures legal.”
It continued, “He also had another person on the line as a witness which we weren’t made aware of. I told him I needed to have a rep on the line as security for myself. He tried to keep me on the line, but I told him I would need to consult my team before proceeding. Can we jump on a call discuss soon?”
Thank you all for the support and for seeing through @wbpictures desperate and scattershot attempt to discredit me to continue protecting those in power.
I met with the investigator via Zoom on Aug 26th. Below is an email I sent to my team and @sagaftra immediately after:
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) September 5, 2020
Fisher followed that up with another tweet, where he wrote, “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.”
“WB Pictures has escalated this to an entirely different level, but I’m ready to meet the challenge.”
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
More recently in the middle of October, Fisher would write on Twitter, “What complicates the situation with Joss Whedon and Geoff Johns is that appropriate action wasn’t taken with them in real time.”
He added, “As a result, they were allowed to spread to WB Pictures’ sister companies. It’s a tricky knot, but we will untie it.”
Now, in an interview with Forbes, Fisher provided specifics regarding his accusations against Whedon.
He stated, “The erasure of people of color from the 2017 theatrical version of Justice League was neither an accident nor coincidence.”
He then claimed that Whedon changed an actor of color’s skin tone in post. Fisher stated, “What set my soul on fire and forced me to speak out about Joss Whedon this summer was my becoming informed that Joss had ordered that the complexion of an actor of color be changed in post-production because he didn’t like the color of their skin tone.”
He continued, “Man, with everything 2020’s been, that was the tipping point for me.”
Fisher would also claim that Johns and Berg along with Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich participated in racist conversations.
He stated, “Prior to Justice League’s reshoot process, blatantly racist conversations were had and entertained—on multiple occasions—by former and current top level executives at Warner Bros. Pictures.”
“Decision-makers that participated in those racist conversations were Geoff Johns, Jon Berg, and current Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich,” he continued.
He then added, “A lot of what these guys were doing was in an effort to prevent themselves from being fired during AT&T’s merger with Time Warner.”
Fisher went on to promise that he would provide more detail after the investigation is completed, “I plan getting much more specific about each of these guys after the investigation is over—this interview is just the abridged version.”
As for the alleged racist conversations, Fisher claims he was only made aware of them after he spoke out against Joss Whedon. The actor explained, “These conversations were reported to me by people in the room. And I wasn’t made aware until AFTER I had already spoken out about Joss Whedon.”
He claims Warner Bros. HR is aware of all the claims he is making, “None of what I’m sharing in this interview is news to Warner Bros. HR, nor should it be news to WarnerMedia. I reported almost everything to them back in July—including Emmerich’s involvement.”
“The fact that I’m having to advocate for myself in this way is equal parts freeing and frustrating,” Fisher added.
Fisher goes on to claim that the reduction and outright cutting of a number of actor’s role in the film was due to their race. He claimed, ““I always suspected that race was a determining factor for the way that things went down, but it wasn’t until this past summer that I was able to prove it.”
He went on to state that it wasn’t just about race, “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.”
Fisher would go on to double down on his accusations against Johns threatening his career, “Geoff Johns made a veiled threat to my career during the LA reshoots of Justice League. Multiple sources have informed me, that Joss threatened the career of another person associated with the production. Toby was made aware and tried to cover for Whedon rather than deal with the abuse. That situation had to be escalated to Tsujihara to get any results.”
Fisher goes on to state his claims are legitimate and real, “These things affected many people across various departments. Warner Bros. Pictures has tried to make it seem as if these issues are mine and mine alone.”
He added, “I’ve brought them a number of witnesses that have been avoided and in some cases ghosted during the investigation process. Warner Bros. knows full well my claims are credible. They’re just scrambling.”
Fisher would also further react to Warner Bros. Pictures statement seen above. He told Forbes, “The hit piece that Warner Bros. Pictures put out on me on September 4th, was meant to isolate me, but it ended up having the opposite effect.”
He added, “More people ended up reaching out and offering their support.”
Fisher also elaborated on his claims that Walter Hamada attempted to throw Whedon and Berg under the bus to protect Johns. He stated, “Walter Hamada chose to insert himself into this situation by trying to throw Joss Whedon and Jon Berg under the bus to protect Geoff Johns.”
He went on, “He has a long-standing work relationship with Johns and an even longer one with Toby [Emmerich] from their time together at New Line.”
“Emmerich made Hamada the president of DC Films and Johns is providing content for Hamada to produce. It stands to reason that he would have a vested interest in trying to protect both of them,” Fisher added.
He went on to claim that the statement would have been a lot worse if Fisher had named Emmerich, “You see what Warner Bros. PR tried to do to me after I alluded to Walter Hamada? Now imagine what would’ve happened if I named the chairman of the company instead of Hamada.”
“WB would’ve used every bit of PR power they had to try to stomp me out and protect Emmerich,” Fisher added.
Fisher would go on to provide an update on the investigation. He claims the original third party that was brought in to investigate is no longer working on the case.
“My team and I have been informed that the third-party firm that was originally brought on to investigate Justice League has withdrawn from the case,” Fisher stated.
He continued, “WarnerMedia has since informed me and my team that the old investigator purposely lied to us about the investigation. We’ve asked WarnerMedia to relay this information to the public and to retract Warner Bros.’ September 4th hit piece on me so we can clear the air and get the investigation back on track. They’ve refused to do so…so here we are..”
“The new investigator that WarnerMedia has brought on is the same one that did the final Kevin Tsujihara investigation before he was taken down,” Fisher added.
Fisher went on to detail that the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is supporting him. “SAG-AFTRA has been a part of just about every conversation we’ve had with WarnerMedia and has been pushing to get them to do the right thing.”
Fisher then stated, “In a business as notoriously litigious as Hollywood, the fact that I haven’t received so much as a cease and desist letter should tell you something.”
He continued, “The people involved know I’m telling the truth. They’re just looking for a way to mitigate blowback for themselves.”
“WarnerMedia knows I don’t have the financial ability to stand up to them in court. Emmerich, Whedon, and the other guys probably do. My guess is that WarnerMedia is looking for the lesser of two lawsuits,” he added.
Fisher would also comment about those who are skeptical of his claims. He stated, “You really have to ask yourself, what’s more plausible—that I would purposely torpedo my career by making statements about powerful figures in Hollywood, that, if untrue, could be easily refuted. OR a handful people in positions of power said and did terrible things in order to maintain that power during a massive corporate merger.”
Fisher then detailed what his goal is, “My goal is to have these people not be decision makers for the content that influences our world. These guys have been in Hollywood a long time. Their problematic behavior didn’t start with the AT&T merger, but I’ll be dammed if it doesn’t end with it.”
He then claims he’s not worried about any consequences, “I’m not worried about the consequences. I’m well aware of what’s at stake. If people don’t want to work with me because I’m refusing to tolerate abusive behavior and the coverup culture of old Hollywood, then so be it.”
He concluded, “If nothing else, I’m going to go out of this business the way I came in; free and of my own volition. Can you dig that?”
What do you make of Fisher’s comments? Do you believe these new accusations?