Hartley Sawyer comic con

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Hate has no place on social media.

Former Young and the Restless star Hartley Sawyer is learning a very public lesson about being accountable for his social media posts. The Flash actor was fired on Monday June 8 for racist, homophobic and misogynistic tweets that he posted from 2011 through 2014. Sawyer’s Twitter account has already been deleted, but fans had saved the screenshots of the offending posts and shared them on social media. His tweets ranged from “Out at dinner and just exposed myself as a racist, AGAIN” to “Jingle bells, batman smells, women shouldn’t vote.”

He did issue an apology on Instagram talking about his growth since those initial tweets, “I am incredibly sorry, ashamed and disappointed in myself for my ignorance back then. I want to be very clear: this is not reflective of what I think or who I am now. Years ago, thanks to friends and experiences who helped me to open my eyes, I began my journey into becoming a more responsible adult – in terms of what I say, what I do, and beyond. I’ve largely kept that journey private, and this is another way that I have let so many down. I still have more work to do.”

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My words, irrelevant of being meant with an intent of humor, were hurtful, and unacceptable. I am ashamed I was capable of these really horrible attempts to get attention at that time. I regret them deeply. This was not acceptable behavior. These were words I threw out at the time with no thought or recognition of the harm my words could do, and now have done today. I am incredibly sorry, ashamed and disappointed in myself for my ignorance back then. I want to be very clear: this is not reflective of what I think or who I am now. Years ago, thanks to friends and experiences who helped me to open my eyes, I began my journey into becoming a more responsible adult – in terms of what I say, what I do, and beyond. I've largely kept that journey private, and this is another way that I have let so many down. I still have more work to do. But how I define myself now does not take away the impact of my words, or my responsibility for them. I am very sorry.

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Even with the apology, The CW took a strong stance and relieved Sawyer of his duties on The Flash. “In regards to Mr. Sawyer’s posts on social media, we do not tolerate derogatory remarks that target any race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation,” The network said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.”Such remarks are antithetical to our values and policies, which strive and evolve to promote a safe, inclusive and productive environment for our workforce.”

Executive producers Eric Wallace also released an emotional statement on Twitter that not only referenced Sawyer’s infractions, but also addressed the current racial justice movement in the U.S. “This morning, many of you learned that Hartley Sawyer will not be returning for season seven of The Flash,” Wallace wrote. “Concerning his social media tweets, they broke my heart and made me mad as hell. And they’re indicative of the larger problem in our country.”

Sawyer played Kyle Abbott on The Young and the Restless from April 24, 2013, until January 27, 2014. He took over the role from Blake Hood, but only stayed eight months. There was no reason given for his exit.

He joined The Flash cast as private detective Ralph Dibny / Elongated Man, whose superpower allowed him to transform into any shape. He started in the fourth episode of the fourth season. He will not be seen in the upcoming seventh season of The Flash.

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