Zack Snyder's Justice League star Ray Fisher has issued a length new statement, highlighting specific allegations against Warner Bros. Pictures executives Geoff Johns, Toby Emmerich, and Jon Berg. Fisher recently alluded to the trio of WB execs being culpable for abuses and mistreatment during the theatrical production of Justice League under Joss Whedon; those vague mentions triggered some backlash from some in the industry, who argue that Fisher is not providing detailed (or proven) accounts of what actual abuses took place. Apparently, this new statement is meant to alleviate that issue, as Ray Fisher provides pointed and detailed notes on what he alleges Johns, Emmerich, and Berg ar guilty of.
You can see the original tweet from Ray Fisher here, and read the transcript of his statement, below:
Please Read.March 2, 2021
Prior to the Justice League reshoots of 2017, racially discriminatory conversations were had and entertained-on multiple occasions-by Warner Bros. Pictures executives: Toby Emmerich, Geoff Johns, and Jon Berg.
Had I been aware of those conversations in realtime, I would have addressed them in realtime. However, it wasn't until the summer of 2020 that individuals who were in those meetings felt comfortable sharing with me what they had witnessed firsthand.
When it comes to matters involving race, I always try to give the benefit of the doubt to those who may be ignorant of their own biases. But when you have studio executives (particularly Geoff Johns) saying, "we can't have an angry Black man at the center of the movie" – and then those executives use their power to reduce and remove ALL Black people from that movie- they are no longer entitled to any benefit associated with doubt.
Toby, Geoff, and Jon were not ignorant of their biases. They understood full well that the racist rhetoric they chose to entertain in those meetings was offensive, discriminatory, and unacceptable. Furthermore, they dared not speak those things to me, nor any other Black person associated with the film. Instead, they chose the cowardly route of gaslighting- complete with extremely problematic requests such as asking me to “play Cyborg like Quasimodo"; and forcing a scene to be reshot so they could highlight the existence of Cyborg's penis.
Unfortunately, those were just some of the issues.
We now know that the leadership at Warner Bros. Pictures lied to the cast and crew of Justice League (and to the world) about Zack Snyder picking Joss Whedon to finish the film.
The truth will continue to reveal itself. And as it does, there will likely be attempts to shift blame completely onto Kevin Tsujihara and Joss Whedon. But make no mistake, Geoff Johns worked intimately with Joss to overhaul the entire Justice League script. And while Geoff was not credited as a co-writer of the film, he was certainly an enforcer of the race-based discrimination that occurred during his conversations with Toby and Jon.
Zack Snyder's Justice League stands as proof of, and opposition to, that discrimination.
I am indebted to the participants of the Justice League investigation. They have put themselves at great risk to share the truth. I owe it to them; I owe it to my peers in this industry; and I owe it to all Black people to stay the course.
PS - Walter Hamada owes an apology to all the participants of the Justice League investigation.
"It doesn't matter how strong your opinions are. If you don't use your power for positive change, you are, indeed, part of the problem." - Coretta Scott King
This letter is sure to add more fuel to the fire over the debate about Ray Fisher's quest to put "Accountability" over "Entertainment" (as he signs these statements). The statements about Cyborg and the racial considerations of how to portray the character or unsettling - as is the anecdote about the character's anatomy.
That said, this will probably do little to convince those criticizing Fisher that he is in the right. These aren't overtly racist incidents that Fisher is alleging, like him being called the "N-word" or having other racist slurs hurled at him. What Fisher speaks to is a more subtle (but no less prevalent) form of discrimination that we're seeing black actors talk about in increasing numbers. Issues like having portrayals of blackness dictated to them by largely white executives; not having their considerations or needs addressed by the studio the same way as white actors, etc.
As Hollywood continues to see a shift in its exposure of racial, sexual, and/or gender discrimination, this kind of discourse and debate will continue to unfold. Check back with Comicbook.com/DC to see how Warner Bros. responds to Ray Fisher's latest statements.