In the rush to cut Zack Snyder's assembly cut of Justice League down from four hours to less than two, filmmaker Joss Whedon removed a number of characters of color from the movie entirely, and drastically reduced the roles of some others. Now that Zack Snyder's Justice League is available to watch, fans have taken note -- but the film's star, Ray Fisher, said today that he blames institutional forces at Warner Bros. and not just Whedon for what ultimately became a less inclusive film. Among the parts cut or drastically reduced in the final film are Ryan Choi, a Korean-American superhero from the comics and STAR Labs employee; a waitress whose story intersects with that of Fisher's Victor Stone...and Stone himself.
Fisher's oft-repeated allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Warner Bros. executives first became public when he told fans that Whedon had behaved in an abusive and unprofessional way on the set of Justice League. The Avengers director had been brought on to fill in for Snyder, who left the movie amid conflicts with Warner Bros. after the death of his daughter in early 2017. The Snyder Cut of Justice League is dedicated to that daughter.
"Toby Emmerich, Geoff Johns, and Jon Berg’s racist and discriminatory conversations were major factors in the disparities," Fisher said on Twitter. "I may not like Joss Whedon, but I refuse to let him take sole responsibility."
These executives, as well as current DC Films chief Walter Hamada, have been regular targets of Fisher's ire. Reading between the lines of some of his comments, it seems he feels Whedon was made the scapegoat for institutional wrongs in order to keep themselves insulated from consequences. Representatives for Warner Bros. have periodically sparred with Fisher about his public comments regarding not just the situation on set but the subsequent ethics investigation that happened after he went public with the first comments about Whedon.
In recent months, other former cast members on Whedon projects -- most notably Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Charisma Carpenter -- have come forward to back Fisher's claims, saying they experienced similar abuse during their time working with the filmmaker.
In Zack Snyder's Justice League, determined to ensure Superman’s (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.
You can see Zack Snyder's Justice League -- in color, or in the black-and-white "Justice is Gray" edition -- on HBO Max.