Warner Bros. fires back at Justice League star Ray Fisher
The studio says the Cyborg actor made a 'false claim' in his complaints, and Fisher has responded.
UPDATE: In a rare move, Warner Bros. is publicly firing back at one of its actors.
The studio issued a lengthy defense of its executives' actions during the production of Justice League after star Ray Fisher accused DC Films of dismissing his complaints about director Joss Whedon. And in a new update to this story on Saturday, Fisher issued a response of his own.
First, some backstory: In June, the Cyborg actor accused Whedon (who took over the project for director Zack Snyder, who left the film after a family tragedy) of unspecified "gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable" behavior on set. Fisher also said that Geoff Johns, then the president of DC Entertainment, and producer Jon Berg "enabled" Whedon's behavior. (Berg has strongly denied this.)
More recently, Fisher added new details to his complaints. "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," Fisher wrote on Twitter. "He then made a thinly veiled threat to my career."
WarnerMedia launched an investigation into the claims in August, which Fisher welcomed. "I believe this investigation will show that Geoff Johns, Joss Whedon, Jon Berg (and others) grossly abused their power," he wrote.
On Friday, Fisher added an accusation seemingly directed at DC Films president Walter Hamada. "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," he wrote.
Late Friday, the studio sent out the below reply claiming the actor was primarily upset about his story line in the film and had declined to meet with an investigator, and said Fisher has refused to provide any specifics to back up his misconduct accusations.
"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," reads the statement from a Warner Bros. spokesperson. "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. 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."
Continued Warner Bros.: "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. 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."
Fisher replied to the statement on Twitter where he denied refusing to meet with the investigator yet admitted to cutting the meeting short.
"Thank you all for the support and for seeing through @wbpictures desperate and scattershot attempt to discredit me to continue protecting those in power," he wrote on Twitter. "I met with the investigator via Zoom on Aug 26th. Below is an email I sent to my team and @sagaftra immediately after."
In the message to his reps, Fisher wrote: "Hey Crew, 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. 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."
In May, Warner Bros. announced that Snyder would release his director's cut of the film on HBO Max in 2021. One of the elements that he says evolved was fleshing out Cyborg's story.