Ray Fisher, Joss Whedon, and the Warner Brothers Investigation
Resilient and outspoken, actor Ray Fisher tells all about his experience following the Justice League (2017) reshoots, working with director Joss Whedon, and the investigation launched by Warner Bros. in response to Fisher's allegations.
A revealing new interview breaks down the details around the Justice League reshoots, Fisher's interactions with Whedon, and the case that was opened by the studio regarding Fisher's call to action. The actor, who made his DC Extended Universe debut in 2016, became more prominent in his more bounteous role in co-directors Joss Whedon and Zack Snyder's Justice League (2017). Over the past year, Fisher took to social media to call attention to Whedon's behavior during the film's reshoots, and the aftermath of Snyder stepping away from the project.
Whedon and Snyder's interpretations of the material clashed with great significance, hence the demand, and then delivery, of the Snyder Cut. However, the poor stitching together of two conflicting concepts barely scratched the surface of Whedon's controversy. The director has been no stranger to being noted for his offputting behavior, and Fisher went to emphasizing that Whedon's behavior was "gross" and "abusive." He then backed his claim by alleging DC Films executives Geoff Johns and Jon Berg as being enablers of these actions. Fisher said that he had "to explain some of the most basic points of what would be offensive to the Black community" to Whedon.
Fisher said that "the assertion that a Black man would not have his own agency is just as racist as the conversations [Warner's leadership] was having about the Justice League reshoots. I've been underestimated at every turn during this process and that is what has led us to this point. Had they taken me as seriously as they should have from the beginning, they would not have made as many foolish mistakes as they did in the process."
Fisher has refused to back down since and has set out to pursue an investigation within Warner Bros., insistent on holding them to their accountability. An explosive, red-hot interview with The Hollywood Reporter has allowed the actor to revisit his accounts of the Justice League reshoots, and then the repercussions that followed. He begins retelling the events of receiving Whedon's script revisions, where he was faced with most of his character's backstory being reworked. Fisher claimed that Whedon ideally sought out "fulsome praise." The actor offered his insights on Victor "Cyborg" Stone's representation but was met with Whedon's displeasure. "It feels like I'm taking notes right now, and I don't like taking notes from anybody — not even Robert Downey Jr.," the director replied. When Fisher turned to Johns for support, Johns plainly said, "We can't make Joss mad." Whedon has declined to comment.
Even after the investigation was launched, Fisher was unsure about those that Warner Bros. had assigned to the case. He was advised to avoid involvement with the investigation if certain hand-picked executives became involved, due to the studio's history of dismissing misconduct. The actor was pleased with Katherine Forrest, who was designated to lead the probe, but his optimism was diminished after Forrest was only authorized by Warner Bros. to "attempt to explain away anything to do with race." Forrest, a former federal judge, said that after conducting over 80 interviews with witnesses that she found no"no credible support for claims of racial animus," or racial "insensitivity."
These "remedial steps" were used to realign the studio have yet to be disclosed. A Warner Bros. spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that they have not released their findings due to privacy and legal reasons, and that "our policy is to not publicly disclose the findings or the results of an investigation." Another anonymous WarnerMedia spokesperson said that the company has "made extraordinary effort to accommodate Mr. Fisher's concerns about the investigation and to ensure its fullness and fairness" and that "complete confidence in the investigation process and [Forrest's] conclusions."
Though the correlation is not explicit, it can be implied that Fisher's release from The Flash (2022) can be linked to the ongoing conflict between Fisher, Warner Bros., and DC Films. The studio ultimately removed Fisher's Cyborg role from The Flash, Tweeting that "Given his statement that [Mr. Fisher] will not participate in any film associated with Mr. [Walter] Hamada, our production is now moving on." In retaliation, the actor said, "when I first spoke up, I assumed there was no way these guys would allow me to do my job in peace."