Justice League’s Cyborg, Ray Fisher, who publicly accused Joss Whedon of abusive on-set behaviour earlier this year, has shared further insight on the situation.
In a new interview with Forbes, the actor went into more detail about why he spoke out against Whedon and former Warner Bros executives Geoff Johns and Jon Berg.
Speaking candidly, Fisher reiterated his previous statements about the cast being mistreated during reshoots after Whedon took over from the film’s original director, Zack Snyder. The actor further amplified these comments by indicating racial issues played a part in the decisions that led to his claimed mistreatment.
“The erasure of people of colour from the 2017 theatrical version of Justice League was neither an accident nor coincidence.”
“What set my soul on fire and forced me to speak out about Joss Whedon this summer was my becoming informed that Joss had ordered that the complexion of an actor of colour be changed in post-production because he didn’t like the colour of their skin tone. Man, with everything’s 2020’s been, that was the tipping point to me.”
Fisher also cites several other changes to the 2017 film, including the reduction of his screen time and the removal of characters of colour.
Zheng Kai’s Ryan Choi was cut from Justice League, as was Karen Bryson’s role as Cyborg’s mother Ellinore, and Kiersey Clemons’s Iris West. Joe Morton’s onscreen appearance as Cyborg’s father, Silas, was also reduced. All of those characters are said to appear in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Fisher added that although racial discrimination was rife on set, it wasn’t the only problem.
“I always suspected that race was a determining factor for the way that things went down, but it wasn’t until the past summer that I was able to prove it.”
“Race was just one of the issues with the reshoot process. There were massive blowups, threats, coercion, taunting, unsafe work conditions, belittling, and gas-lighting like you wouldn’t believe.”
Following Ray Fisher’s interview with Forbes, Joss Whedon has issued a statement denying the actor’s claims that he digitally altered a performer’s skin colour in Justice League.
In a statement provided to Entertainment Weekly, Whedon said the following regarding Fisher’s allegations…
“The individual who offered this statement acknowledged that this was just something that he had heard from someone else and accepted as truth, when in fact simple research would prove that it was false. As is standard on almost all films, there were numerous people involved with mixing the final product, including the editor, special effects person, composer, etc – with the senior colourist responsible for the final version’s tone, colours, and mood. This process was further complicated on this project by the fact that [original director] Zack [Snyder] shot on film, while Joss shot on digital, which required the team, led by the same senior colourist who has worked on previous films for Zack, to reconcile the two.”
Meanwhile, Warner Bros is currently looking into the situation and have hired a new firm to properly investigate these serious allegations.