Justice League: Ray Fisher Says Joss Whedon Wasn’t Zack Snyder’s Choice
Ray Fisher speaks out again in a new interview about what he calls “abusive behavior” on the set of the Justice League reshoots.
Justice League: The Snyder Cut is finally becoming a reality over at HBO Max, but the bitter and apparently unhappy process of the original theatrical release’s creation still generates attention nearly three years after that movie’s release. And actor Ray Fisher, who has spent much of 2020 bringing to light allegations of a toxic workplace on the Justice League reshoots, is now sitting down with Forbes to delve further into his frustration with what he calls “the cover-up culture of old Hollywood.”
During an interview with Sheraz Farooqui, Fisher opened up about his need to speak out on what he’s dubbed “Accountability > Entertainment” since last summer, which was when he first accused director Joss Whedon of “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behavior on Justice League’s additional photography. It’s also behavior he alleges that producers Geoff Johns and Jon Berg enabled, including when Johns threatened the actor’s career, according to Fisher.
Reflecting on this saga now in October, Fisher revealed to Forbes one of the key reasons he chose to take his story to social media is because he heard Whedon allegedly ordered the complexion of a Person of Color in the film be changed in post-production.
“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 color be changed in post-production because he didn’t like the color of their skin tone,” Fisher said. “Man, with everything 2020’s been, that was the tipping point for me.”
This is a significant accusation, one of which Forbes noted Whedon did not respond for comment on. It is also a claim where Fisher’s actual source is not attributed. Still, the actor said this was the final straw given his unhappiness with Whedon and the reshoots—an unhappiness that began with what Fisher views as a lie spread both to the public and to the Justice League cast about how Whedon replaced original director Zack Snyder.
“The cast and crew were told that Zack had handpicked Joss to finish the film for him,” Fisher said. “I didn’t find out until after the reshoots that that was a complete lie… 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.”
But Fisher’s frustration with the situation of how Whedon came aboard pales in comparison to what was an exceedingly unhappy work environment. This includes Fisher suggesting in the new interview that he has heard about “blatantly racist conversations” held among Warner Bros. executives at the times, which he claims Johns, Berg, and current Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich were present for. He further asserted that notes Johns gave him during reshoots were “just a coded version of the racist things he was saying behind closed doors with the other execs.”
To date there has been little public corroboration for these explosive claims. And during his interview with Forbes, the actor again chose not to go into specifics, saying he is waiting for WB’s independent investigation to be concluded before he gets “much more specific about each of these guys.”
WB, meanwhile, has said in its lone official statement on these allegations that Fisher “declined to speak to the investigator” working on the independent investigation, and that the actor “failed to provide” credible allegations of misconduct.
Fisher told Forbes that statement was a “hit piece,” as he claimed he brought multiple witnesses to the studio’s attention who they avoided or “ghosted.” And while the details remain incredibly murky, Fisher has support of several castmates, including Jason Momoa who just starred in WB’s billion dollar-earner Aquaman and is set to headline the sequel, Aquaman 2 in 2022.
“THIS SHIT HAS TO STOP AND NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT @ray8fisher AND EVERYONE ELSE WHO EXPERIENCED WHAT HAPPEN UNDER THE WATCH OF @wbpictures NEEDS PROPER INVESTIGATION,” Momoa wrote on Instagram.
Fisher went on in the full interview, which you can again read here, to say this abuse did not just affect him or cast members, but entire other departments at WB.
To be sure, this story is ongoing.