An expose on the controversies surrounding Ray Fisher’s time on the set of Justice League under the supervision of director Joss Whedon and producer Geoff Johns has revealed a new piece of information pertaining to Johns’ involvement with the Syfy channel series Krypton.
Sources close to The Hollywood Reporter learned that when Johns heard the show’s creators were considering making Seyg-El, the grandfather of Superman, a black man, he stepped in and shut the idea down.
Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page auditioned for the part and was favored by casting. However, overseeing the project was Johns, who vetoed the idea as he thought Superman shouldn’t have a black grandfather.
A representative for Johns explained to THR that the veteran creator shot down this idea because he “believed fans expected the character to look like a young Henry Cavill.”
In a tweet following the publishing of THR’s report, Fisher called this response a weak excuse, noting that Johns was “ok with the Zods not resembling [Man of Steel’s] Michael Shannon”.
“I appreciate Geoff Johns bringing on a crisis team to try to explain away his discriminatory behavior, but his excuses are WEAK,” He wrote. “If Geoff believed fans expected Superman’s grandfather to look like ‘a young Henry Cavill’—why was he ok with the Zods not resembling Michael Shannon?”
Fisher was then promptly corrected by Twitter user @danotaz46, who pointed out that “the reason General Zod’s grandparents didn’t need to look like Michael Shannon was because *General Zod was not played by Michael Shannon on the Krypton TV series*.”
In the series, Zod is played by Arrow actor Colin Salmon (Walter Steele), a fact Fisher might not have been aware of.
The report also claims Johns vetoed an idea that creators had to make Adam Strange gay or bisexual. In his defense, the rep noted that Johns’ was not anti-LGBTQ by pointing to his history of reintroducing Kate Kane to the DCU as a lesbian version of Batwoman.
“Geoff celebrates and supports LGTBQ characters, including Batwoman, who in 2006 was re-introduced as LGBTQ in a comic-book series co-written by Johns,” the rep said in an email.
The rep added Johns pitched “a television show around the first LGBTQ lead DC superhero,” Batwoman, which is still on the air at The CW with Johns listed as an executive producer.
THR also reached out to former Superman & Lois writer Nadria Tucker who told them Johns, whom she hasn’t talked to since Krypton was in production, “objected when a Black female character’s hairstyle was changed in scenes that took place on different days.”
“I said Black women, we tend to change our hair frequently. It’s not weird, it’s a Black thing,” Tucker stated. “And he said, ‘No, it’s not.'”
Johns’ rep clarified the hair was a continuity concern and Tucker is blowing things out of proportion.
“What were standard continuity notes for a scene are being spun in a way that are not only personally offensive to Geoff, but to the people that know who he is, know the work he’s done and know the life he lives, as Geoff has personally seen firsthand the painful effects of racial stereotypes concerning hair and other cultural stereotypes, having been married to a Black woman who he was with for a decade and with his second wife, who is Asian American, as well as his son who is mixed race,” the rep said.
Seeing his friend and colleague being hammered, Cyberfrog and Reignbow The Brute creator Ethan Van Sciver shared his disgust with the situation.
“Watching Geoff Johns being degraded as a racist and cancelled makes me physically ill,” he wrote on Twitter. “He is one of the most gifted and talented creators of the last few decades, someone who knows DC characters inside and out. After having seen Hollywood’s bleak take on them, his fight is real.”
EVS followed up this tweet by sending Geoff Johns a plea. “Let them have the carcass of the creative industry they wrecked, Geoff. You did all you could,” he said. “As the comics business collapses, and DC Comics becomes insolvent, you’ll still have your talent. They’ll only have the ashes, and I hope they choke on them.”
Do you agree with Van Sciver that Geoff Johns is being unfairly railroaded? Also, do you think DC will collapse? Give us your answer below.