I Stand With Ray Fisher
What does this mean? Well, if you’ve been on the internet the past few months you might have seen the “I Stand With Ray Fisher” hashtag thrown around. If you haven’t? You have unfortunately been uninformed by what should be one of Hollywood’s biggest stories.
#IStandWithRayFisher is a hashtag to show support for Ray Fisher, the Cyborg actor who appeared in 2017’s Justice League. This hashtag is in support of his fight to right the wrongs that transpired during the infamous Justice League reshoots. And ultimately is in support of his fight for “Accountability>Entertainment”.
But how did we get here?
THE ROAD TO A>E
During the production of Justice League, director Zack Snyder was in a constant creative battle with the studio and had to unfortunately leave Justice League mid production due to his daughters untimely passing. This prompted Warner Bros to hire a replacement in Avengers (2012) director, Joss Whedon.
Telling the audience that Whedon would only be there to bring production to the finish line. The final product spelled a different story. Making it apparent that the Marvel director was brought on two enact the whims of the studio, creating a lighter and more comedic Justice League that was the byproduct of an 80 page script rewrite with half the movie being reshot.
This betrayal of Snyder’s vision prompted the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign. And no sooner than 3 years later were their dreams realized. But soon after the May 20th announcement of Zack Snyder’s Justice League coming to HBOMAX, another announcement came from Cyborg actor Ray Fisher, in the form of a tweet…
On June 29 of 2020, Ray Fisher would take to twitter to drop a bomb shell.
I’d like to take a moment to forcefully retract every bit of this statement: pic.twitter.com/1ECwwu6TG1
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) June 29, 2020
In this clip from 2017’s Comic Con, Ray Fisher would offer praise to Whedon, commending him for finishing the job that Snyder had picked him to do. In this tweet Ray would retract any positive sentiment that he would give to Joss Whedon. And in doing so call into question everything we thought we knew about the Justice League production. And no sooner than a day later would Ray throw down the gauntlet and begin his fight to bring to light the injustices of the Justice League reshoots.
Vague it may be, Ray Fisher lays the groundwork for the issues faced on the Justice League reshoots. And in the coming months to follow, Ray would not only unearth more details of the problems that occurred on the Justice League set, but would also launch an official investigation to get to the heart of the injustices faced during the Justice League reshoots.
On August 20th, 2020, Ray announced that after 5 weeks of interviews with the cast and crew, an independent third-party investigation was launched by Warner Media(more on this later). And in this Ray was confident that the investigation would bring to light the toxic environment that the cast suffered during the Justice League reshoots and would also show an abuse of power during the merger between AT&T and Time Warner.
The investigation that was launched was a tumultuous one and one that was filled with a lot of back and forth between Fisher and accused. This back and forth often played out behind the scenes, but every now and then when the process seem to have been put to a standstill, Fisher would make things public to accelerate the situation. At Justice Con, an online virtual event dedicated to the work of Snyder, Fisher explained how he wanted to go about the entire process. This interview with the Nerd Queens and Wonder Meg took place about a month before the officials investigation launched. But in it, Fisher went into detail on where his priorities lied.
From this interview, it’s clear that Ray Fisher was going about this process as carefully as possible. Having prior experience with Unions in the past, Fisher knew the risks. And thus took his time to ensure a fair and credible investigation.
Taking two and a half years to build a case and to gather voices who felt safe lend them to his cause, Ray finally felt he was ready to embark on his mission to bring to light the injustices that he and many others suffered on the Justice League production.
Throughout Ray Fishers fight, many barbs would be thrown his way in an attempt to discredit him. These came in the form of false press releases, deflective quotes, and blatant lies. Some included:
- Jon Berg accusing Fisher of being mad about saying “Booya”
- A fake “Frosty” announcement starring Jason Mamoa, being produced by Berg and Johns
- A statement from Walter Hamada saying Fishers complaints came down to “creative differences”
- Fisher being accused of not cooperating with the investigator.
All these accusations would either be proven wrong or a simply represent a failed attempt at distracting from the seriousness of Fishers situation. The statements pertaining to creative differences could be boiled down to petty attempts at deflection. And the “Frosty” announcement along with the accusation of Fisher’s unwillingness to comply with the investigators can be proven wrong by two social media posts.
Jason Mamoa debunks Frosty announcement:
Warner Media investigator debunks the sentiment that Fisher would not comply:
It’s important to set the record straight because once you examine the whole story, you’ll realize which side has a history of perpetrating lies and which side has a history of remaining accountable for the claims they make.
WARNER MEDIA VS WARNER BROS
One big lie that came out that wasn’t in the form of an article, but actually played out during the investigative process, was the fact that Ray was lied to about who hired the independent investigator. Having assumed the independent third party investigator was hired by Warner Media, Fisher was confident in a fair investigation. But a couple days after the announcement of the investigation launch, Fisher went on a zoom call. In which it became apparent that the investigator was hired by Warner Bros. Which is the company that Ray is fighting against.
Not only was this the case, but it was revealed that the firm blatantly avoided doing interviews with certain people who have in the past given “damning” statements to WB HR. And also that all information would be reported to WB legal. This information was not only troubling, but also called into question the good faith that was had with the investigative process. Luckily, Fisher and company would soon request for a change in an investigator and their requests would be met. After bringing on an investigator hired by Warner Media, the true path to uncovering the injustices would begin.
Before the investigation was in full swing, Fisher received a phone call from DC Films President, Walter Hamada. Fisher obviously had previous contact with him when talking about the future of Cyborgs role in DC. But this conversation carried a different tone. Shortly after Ray first spoke out about Whedon, Berg, and Johns, Hamada contacted Ray to try to mitigate the situation. In doing such, Hamada attempted to throw Whedon and Berg “under the bus” in an effort to protect Johns. This was troubling to Ray for many reasons.
One being, the idea that Ray had such little integrity he was willing to allow certain corrupt people to stay in power just to trade off others who might not. And secondly, the fact that Hamada was made well aware of the behavior of both Whedon and Johns.
In this conversation, Hamada admitted that he was made privy to the abusive environments that Whedon and Johns perpetrated BEFORE Fisher voiced his grievances. Whedon had allegedly made a threat to an persons career during the reshoots. And Johns had allegedly took part in racist conversations. And on top of this, Fisher revealed that Johns himself made a threat to Fishers career for attempting to take his grievances up the proper chain of command in real time during the reshoots.
All of this Hamada either was made aware or easily dismissed, in which Hamada would claim “it’s the producers job to protect the director”. And while Hamada would publicly claim he wasn’t part of the Justice League reshoots, he did having a working relationship with Johns at that time. And thus from this point on, Fisher would realize his fight was much bigger than the Justice League reshoots, but the overall coverup culture of “Old Hollywood” that Warner Bros is clinging to.
THE FIGHT IS NOT HIS OWN
While this story thus far does predict a lone mans fight against a corporation, it’s important to acknowledge that Fisher isn’t fighting this for himself. Countless of people that have since come out to corroborate Rays sentiments about the people he’s accusing. Namely Johns and Whedon. So Rays fight is also on the behalf of the others who have suffered similar abuse. This was made abundantly clear when Ray tweeted his support of Kai Cole and Charisma Carpenter. Two women who have also spoken out against Whedons abusive and sexist ways. One being his wife, and the other being a cast member on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. And recently it was revealed by Charisma herself that she took part in the Justice League investigation, and she shared more of her story of what transpired between herself and Whedon.
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 10, 2021
It’s clear that the corrupt nature of certain individuals that Ray is uncovering goes beyond Justice League. But unfortunately those experiences just add on to the trail of abuse that have been left in their wake. Even some of Rays fellow castmates have also gone on to voice their own experiences with the Justice League reshoots.
While promoting Wonder Woman 1984, Gal Gadot spoke to LA Times and shared her own experiences with Whedon, saying:
“I’m happy for Ray to go out and speak his truth, I wasn’t there with the guys when they shot with Joss Whedon — I had my own experience with [him], which wasn’t the best one, but I took care of it there and when it happened. I took it to the higher-ups and they took care of it. But I’m happy for Ray to go up and say his truth.”
While Gadot clearly tries to avoid being controversial, making the political statement, but its clear her issues with Whedon were serious. And another castmate of Fisher that voices his issues with the reshoots was Ben Affleck.
In the past Affleck had already talked about his different experiences with both Batman V Superman and Justice League, heavily insinuating Justice League was not a good time. But it wasn’t until now that Affleck shared pretty harsh words with the Hollywood Reporter about his time on the Justice League set.
“I did Batman because I wanted to do it for my kids, I wanted to do something that my son would dig. I mean, my kids didn’t see Argo.” He continues, “I wore the suit to my son’s birthday party, which was worth every moment of suffering on Justice League.” Affleck continues, “I started drinking too much around the time of Justice League, and it’s a hard thing to confront and face and deal with. I’ve been sober for a while now, and I feel really good — as healthy and good as I’ve ever felt.”
It’s hard to avoid words such as “suffering” when pertaining to working on a Justice League film. And while Affleck doesn’t go into details, I would find it hard to assume that those grievances strictly dealt with creative differences, but went deeper than that. And as we know when Mamoa debunked the Frosty announcement, he referenced that the cast was treated in a “shitty” way.
While many still might call into question the specifics of Rays claims. These words from the cast at the very least spell a troublesome and toxic environment.
Many will read this article and still not be convinced that Ray is telling the truth. And that’s fine. It’s okay to question and to want more facts. But if you look at the whole story, it paints a clearly obvious picture on who you should stand with.
From the beginning, Ray made it abundantly clear that if he was lying, he was open for a law suit. If Ray gave libelous information about any of the parties involved, Fisher gave an open invitation for himself to be sued. And nearly half a year later, none of that has happened. Actually quite the opposite has.
In the time since Fishers claims, Whedon has been removed from the HBO show The Nevers. Severing his relationship with Warner Bros. And Geoff Johns has been eerily quite with his involvement in future projects at DC. Including a supposed Green Lantern show that he was working on. And Ray is confident Johns will follow the same path as Whedon.
With Ray announcing the completing of the investigation on December 11, it was said that “remedial action” would be taking place. And this begs the question, if Fisher was wrong, why would any action need to be taken?
The answer is, he was right. As the investigator shared in their final conversation. Ray has been credible, honest, and truthful. And the “facts speak for themselves”.
WHY I STAND WITH RAY FISHER
We can continue to question why Ray doesn’t share more information. Why Ray didn’t just come out with it all. Which those would be worthy queries. But Ray has done this before. He has experienced the triumphs and pitfalls of embarking on such a situation. And a big one is the potential risk to careers. Which is why Fisher has explained his pursuit to do this as privately as possible.
“A lot of folks from the cast and crew reached out to show their support, some expected and some less so. I’ve tried my best to handle things privately and to let HR process play, but the only thing that seems to move the needle has been me applying pressure publicly.”
From the start, Ray made it clear that his main mission was to bring to light the injustices of the Justice League reshoots and in doing so, protecting the people that lent their voices to the investigation. And in that means, not telling the public everything, and keeping your cards close to the vest. The only people that need to know anything are the investigators. Because they are the ones who will get things done.
As Ray has made known, the fan support is appreciated. But in the end, to do it right, the right information needs to get to the right people. Ray did just that. And we are seeing the ramifications of it.
And though this fight may have cost him his role in the Flash film with Ray refusing to work with Hamada. I believe Rays constant integrity and credibility will continue uncover the injustices that he has encountered. And I hope that soon, everything will be made right.
RAY FISHER AND THE FUTURE
With Zack Snyder’s Justice League just around the corner, it’s gonna be hard to avoid the elephant in the room. But it’s a good thing, because the more publicity this story gets, the more pressure will be put onto the studios to make things right. And it’s my hope that more of the main stream media and bloggers will start to show support, because it’s eerily troubling to see their notable silence on their part, especially when dealing with a scandal as big as this.
With Time Warner CEO Jason Kilar being a big push for cleaning up the corrupt nature of Warner Bros. It seems that Fisher and Kilar are very much in agreeance with the pursuit of Accountability > Entertainment.
And with that I find it hard to believe that guys like Hamada and Emmerich will remain in power. Not only for their terrible business decisions, but for their enabling ways of the abusive nature of Hollywood. It’s become clear as to why WB has shown little to no support of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Not only does it show their extreme shortsightedness on how the handled the Justice League film. It highlights the scandal of what transpired on those reshoots and that’s the last thing they want. But now its unavoidable. And with that, they will soon be made accountable. Because Ray Fisher has made it clear. This fight ain’t over. Not by a long shot.
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