Ray Fisher has released a new interview since he went public on allegations of racism and created a toxic work environment by Justice League director Joss Whedon and Warner Bros. studio executives. Expanding on his earlier claims, the actor claimed that Whedon was trying to change a person’s skin tone in the film digitally and that Fisher overheard “blatantly racist conversations” between studio directors. Whedon denied the allegation in a statement provided to EW via spokesperson.
In July, Fisher, who portrayed Cyborg in the superhero movie, accused Whedon on social media of “rude, abusive, unprofessional and unacceptable” behavior, and said that Geoff Johns, then chairman of DC Entertainment, and producer Jon Berg “had activated” such action. Berg denied the allegations. In September, while Fisher’s allegations persisted, Warner Bros. released a statement saying that the actor’s “false claim” was due to his apparent dissatisfaction with his character’s story.
In an interview with Forbes released Thursday, Fisher got more specific. He claimed Whedon attempted to change one of Justice League’s color actors’ skin tone during the post-production of the film. “What set my soul on fire and forced me to talk about Joss Whedon this summer was that I was informed that Joss had ordered a black actor’s complexion changed in post-production because he didn’t like the color of their skin tone,” Fisher said. “Dude, with everything 2020 has been, that was the turning point for me.”
Whedon replies, “The person who offered this statement acknowledged that this was simply something he had heard from someone else and accepted to be the truth, when in fact, a simple search would have shown it to be false.
Although Mr. Fisher has never alleged any actionable misconduct against him, WarnerMedia has nonetheless opened an investigation into the concerns it had raised about his character’s portrayal. Still dissatisfied, Mr. Fisher insisted that WarnerMedia hire an independent outside researcher. The investigator made several attempts to meet with Mr. Fisher to discuss his concerns, but to date, Mr. Fisher has refused to speak with the investigator. Warner Bros. remains committed to each actor and team member’s responsibility and well-being for each of its productions. He also remains committed to investigating any specific and credible allegations of misconduct, which Mr. Fisher has not made so far.
Fisher did not provide more details on the nature of these alleged racist conversations. Still, he said, “I plan [on] getting much more specific about each of these guys after the investigation is over — this interview is just the abridged version.” Forbes also noted that multiple black actors had had their roles significantly reduced or omitted from the film’s theatrical release, including Ryan Choi’s Zheng Kai and Kiersey Clemons’ Iris West. Representatives for Whedon told Forbes those decisions were made before he led the project.
Fisher went on to say that “race was just one of the problems with the shooting process”. He stated “massive blowups, threats, coercion, taunting, unsafe work conditions, belittling, and gaslighting like you wouldn’t believe.”
Fisher first spoke about Whedon regarding a clip he shared on social media of the film’s 2017 San Diego Comic-Con panel. The actor praised Whedon’s involvement after Snyder left the project after his daughter died. “I’d like to take a moment and forcefully withdraw every part of this statement,” Fisher wrote at the time. He told Forbes these were all studio fabricated talking points.
“For one thing, the cast and crew were told that Zack had handpicked Joss to finish the film for him. I didn’t find out until after the reshoots that that was a complete lie,” Fisher wrote.
“I heard whispers and rumblings of things being off behind the scenes, but nothing concrete until much later. They had us go out to San Diego Comic-Con in 2017 and say Zack picked Joss and that Joss was a great guy. I still have the email with those talking points.”