The Flash season 7 will not feature Hartley Sawyer. The showrunners have fired the Ralph Dibny actor because of problematic tweets.
Hartley Sawyer will not be returning to The Flash season 7 after derogatory old tweets resurfaced online. The Hollywood Reporter reports that the actor, who played Ralph Dibny/Elongated Man for three seasons on the Arrowverse show, was dismissed in a message by the show’s producers after posts containing racist, misogynist, and homophobic content became public.
Sawyer has since issued an apology for his comments. The problematic posts were written before he joined the show, and, according to Sawyer, were “really horrible attempts to get attention at that time”.
What does the change mean for The Flash season 7?
The showrunners have not indicated what the future has in store for Ralph Dibny, but in the statement shared by Eric Wallace, he states that they are adamant that the show will improve diversity behind the scenes as well.
Sawyer joined the show in 2017 as a recurring character, before being upped to a series regular soon after. Despite being introduced later on in the show, Dibny became one of the core members of Team Flash. His exploits as the body and shapeshifting meta-human Elongated Man made him invaluable to Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and the rest of the team. Dibny’s character was defined by his humour and soon turned into a friend the main characters could rely on for advice and support.
In the most recent season, Dibny’s focus was on locating and rescuing Sue Dearbon (Natalie Dreyfuss), a character who, in the comics, eventually marries Dibny. The characters sparred throughout the sixth season before fighting side-by-side in the season finale.
If Elongated Man doesn’t return in The Flash season 7, the character arc of Sue Dearbon could also suffer, as her story is intrinsically linked to Dibny. Alternatively, given Dibny’s ability to shapeshift, it is possible that the showrunners could recast the character rather than remove him from the team’s roster.
Would you like to see Elongated Man recast or would you like to see another character join the team in The Flash season 7?