Tags: Hollywood | justice league | ray fisher | cyborg

'Justice League's Ray Fisher Claims Execs Didn't Want 'Angry Black Man' in Film

ray fisher stands on red carpet
Actor Ray Fisher attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Justice League" at Dolby Theatre on Nov. 13, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 April 2021 09:47 AM

Ray Fisher is making allegations against top execs involved in 2017's "Justice League." The actor has accused producer Geoff Johns, as well as Jon Berg, who was DC Films co-chairman at the time, and Warner Bros. studio chief Toby Emmerich of inappropriate conduct in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Fisher's claims include allegations that Johns, Berg, and Emmerich had discussions about not wanting to have an "angry black man" as the center of the film. Fisher, who plays Cyborg in the film, and Johns did not see eye to eye when it came to the portrayal of his character. Fisher wanted to accurately capture the trauma Cyborg had gone through as the test subject to a scientist father, but Johns reportedly wanted something a little lighter. At one point Fisher recalled the producer instructing him to play his character less like Frankenstein and more like a kindhearted Quasimodo. Fisher said he had no intention of playing Cyborg as "a jovial, cathedral-cleaning individual."

Adding to the tension, Fisher said he and Johns bumped heads over Cyborg's "booyah" catchphrase, which caught on thanks to the "Teen Titans" show but was never used in the comics or original script. However, Fisher said Johns wanted the line included. The film's original director, Zack Snyder, who was replaced by Joss Whedon after stepping down, reportedly did not want any catchphrases in the film. Johns' rep said the entire studio believed the booyah line was "a fun moment of synergy."

Fisher said that, although he did not take issue with the word, he could not understand why, if no other character had catchphrases in the film, they would "have the only Black character say that."

He told John that it was one thing for a non-Black person to write a character for a comic, but it was another for a Black actor to portray that character onscreen.

"It was like he was assuming how Black people would respond rather than taking the advice from the only Black person — as far as I know — with any kind of creative impact on the project," Fisher said.

"Justice League" underwent sunnier revisions after Whedon stepped in. This became the focal point for the film's execs, said John's rep in response to Fisher's allegations.
All discussions centered on "adding joy and hopefulness to all six superheroes," the rep said. "There are always conversations about avoiding any stereotype of race, gender, or sexuality."

In a statement to USA Today, Johns' ex-wife Anissa Dorsey defended her former spouse, saying she "will always believe he is innocent of these racist stories and fictitious allegations against him."

"I am a proud, beautiful, strong, and intelligent black woman from Louisiana and I ran to California to escape real racism," she said. "Geoff has enjoyed and been a part of a black family since 2000 and someone’s bad feelings cannot erase that time nor the truth."

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TheWire
Ray Fisher is making allegations against top execs involved in 2017's "Justice League." The actor has accused producer Geoff Johns, as well as Jon Berg, who was DC Films co-chairman at the time, and Warner Bros. studio chief...
justice league, ray fisher, cyborg
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2021-47-07
Wednesday, 07 April 2021 09:47 AM
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