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Ray Fisher Finally Details His Allegations of Joss Whedon's 'Racist and Inappropriate Conduct' (Basically, Cyborg's Backstory Was Cut)

ManaByte

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To Fisher, who had few screen credits, playing the half-man, half-machine Cyborg — the first Black superhero in the DC film universe — was both a huge career break and a major responsibility. (Justice League was released in 2017, the year before Marvel broke ground with Black Panther.) He was mindful that the film was overseen almost entirely by white executives and filmmakers.

While Fisher has dropped details and named names, outsiders have struggled to understand: How did Whedon incur his anger? Did Fisher really decline to participate in an investigation that was launched in response to his own complaints, as Warners claimed in September? Was Fisher fighting a righteous battle or a quixotic one when he set out on a path that appears to have cost him a place in the DC film universe?

After Fisher's reps were told that Whedon planned to make major revisions to the film, he flew from New Jersey to meet with the filmmaker in L.A. When the two met at a bar, Fisher says, Whedon "was tiptoeing around the fact that everything was changing." As he left the meeting, Fisher was handed the revised script, which he read twice on the plane back. Gone was Cyborg's traumatic backstory — his relationship with his mother, whose loving scenes with her son were eliminated, as was the accident that killed her and led to his transformation (the material was later restored in the Snyder Cut version of the film that streamed on HBO Max). "It represents that his parents are two genius-level Black people," Fisher says. "We don't see that every day."

Whedon sent out an email asking for questions, comments or "fulsome praise," but Fisher says it became clear: "All he was looking for was the fulsome praise." Trying to strike a jocular tone, Fisher responded that he mourned the loss of the Cyborg material but was moving on. He said he had notes to avoid issues in terms of representation of the character. But in a call with Whedon, Fisher says he had barely started to talk when the filmmaker cut him off. "It feels like I'm taking notes right now, and I don't like taking notes from anybody — not even Robert Downey Jr.," he said. Other sources on the project say Whedon was similarly dismissive of Gadot and Momoa when they questioned new lines.

Once Whedon got involved, Fisher says that Johns told him that it was problematic that Cyborg smiled only twice in the movie. Fisher says he later learned from a witness who participated in the investigation that Johns and other top executives, including then-DC Films co-chairman Jon Berg and Warners studio chief Toby Emmerich, had discussions in which they said they could not have "an angry Black man" at the center of the film. Johns' rep responds that once the chairman of the studio mandated a brighter tone for the film, all further discussions centered on "adding joy and hopefulness to all six superheroes. There are always conversations about avoiding any stereotype of race, gender or sexuality."

Johns told Fisher he should play the character less like Frankenstein and more like the kindhearted Quasimodo. Fisher says that in order to demonstrate the look he wanted, Johns dipped his shoulder in what struck Fisher as a servile posture. To Fisher, there was a big difference between portraying a character who was born with a disability versus one who had been transformed by trauma. And he felt Cyborg was a kind of modern-day Frankenstein. "I didn't have any intention of playing him as a jovial, cathedral-cleaning individual," he says.

Johns' representative responds: "Geoff gave a note using a fictional character as an example of a sympathetic man who is unhappy and has an inclination to hide from the world, but one whom the audience roots for because he has a courageous heart."

The tension only escalated when the issue of having Cyborg say "booyah" arose. That phrase had become a signature of the character thanks to the animated Teen Titans shows, but the character had never said it in the comics or in the original script.



Fisher says that Johns had approached Snyder about including the line, but the director didn't want any catchphrases. He managed the situation by putting the word on some signs in his version of the film, as an Easter egg. But Johns' rep says the entire studio believed the booyah line was "a fun moment of synergy."

Fisher says he doesn't see the word in itself as an issue, but he thought it played differently in a live-action film than the animated series. And he thought of Black characters in pop culture with defining phrases: Gary Coleman's "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?"; Jimmie Walker's "Dy-no-mite!" As no one else in the film had a catchphrase, he says, "It seemed weird to have the only Black character say that."

With reshoots underway, Fisher says Whedon raised the issue again: "Geoff tells me Cyborg has a catchphrase," he told him. Fisher says he expressed his objections and it seemed the matter was dropped — until Berg, the co-chairman of DC Films and a producer on the project, took him to dinner.

"This is one of the most expensive movies Warners has ever made," Berg said, according to Fisher. "What if the CEO of AT&T has a son or daughter, and that son or daughter wants Cyborg to say 'booyah' in the movie and we don't have a take of that? I could lose my job." Fisher responded that he knew if he filmed the line, it would end up in the movie. And he expressed skepticism that the film's fate rested on Cyborg saying "booyah."

But he shot the take. As he arrived on set, he says, Whedon stretched out his arms and said a line from Hamlet in a mocking tone: "Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you." Fisher replied, "Joss — don't. I'm not in the mood." As he left the set after saying just that one phrase for the cameras, he says, Whedon called out, "Nice work, Ray."

The biggest clash, sources say, came when Whedon pushed Gadot to record lines she didn't like, threatened to harm Gadot's career and disparaged Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. While Fisher declines to discuss any of what transpired with Gadot, a witness on the production who later spoke to investigators says that after one clash, "Joss was bragging that he's had it out with Gal. He told her he's the writer and she's going to shut up and say the lines and he can make her look incredibly stupid in this movie."

A knowledgeable source says Gadot and Jenkins went to battle, culminating in a meeting with then-Warners chairman Kevin Tsujihara. Asked for comment, Gadot says in a statement: "I had my issues with [Whedon] and Warner Bros. handled it in a timely manner."
 

AJUMP23

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Whedon has always been a trash human, and it has taken time to get out. I don't really care about any of this Hollywood stuff, but man treat people with respect. It sounds like a Hollywood set is a crappy place to work.
 

Reality Czar

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Ray is really pushing hard on this victim culture stuff but the more I look at this the less I see. Now he’s mad he was made to say the catch phrase? Dude you are in a comic book movie. How entitled can an actor be?

It’s funny when Mark Hamill spoke up to Rian Johnson he and the media decided actors need to shut up and let the director work their brilliant vision. And that was Mark Hamill not some no name kid.
 
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Racist boomers being shitty bosses. A surprise to be sure.

Ray is really pushing hard on this victim culture stuff but the more I look at this the less I see. Now he’s mad he was made to say the catch phrase? Dude you are in a comic book movie. How entitled can an actor be?

"Hollywood is bad, abusive, a cult and full of liberal pederasts!"

*Black guy speaks up about racism, abuse, and a toxic work environment in a Hollywood movie*

"VICTIM CULTURE! ENTITLED! Shutup, act, and take the abuse because you have a lot of money! They were just jokes bro."
 

Reality Czar

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I thought there was something real there. Some harassment some name calling maybe a slur. This is it really? Creative differences?

I see why people think oh he shouldn’t “threaten” Gal Gadot’s career but also I mean isn’t Gal Gadot’s job just to be an actor and say the lines? She isn’t writing these moves ffs.

If I told my boss I wasn’t going to do my work and they threatened to let the industry know then yeah that would makes sense. It’s called doing your job without second guessing your boss the entire time. I guess that is a foreign concept to the entitled youth of today.
 
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Nikana

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Seems like a fuss over disagreements. Wheadon put out shit and he and all of WB knew it. I dont think Fisher somehow took the worst of it but hes making the most noise. Everyone involved was beaten down buy this process.
 

YCoCg

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Now he’s mad he was made to say the catch phrase? Dude you are in a comic book movie. How entitled can an actor be?
When none of the other characters have to say a catch phrase and the best examples Whedon and WB can give was "but these famous TV black people had catch phrases" it does kinda feel messed up, along with knowing the same guy has just cut most of your parts out of the movie.
 

INC

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He's character design looked shit anyway, glad we didn't have to see more of it, same as the flash.
 
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Ionian

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I get being annoyed about scenes being cut but being annoyed about having to say "Booyah" is pretty funny.

"But he shot the take. As he arrived on set, he says, Whedon stretched out his arms and said a line from Hamlet in a mocking tone: "Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you." Fisher replied, "Joss — don't. I'm not in the mood." As he left the set after saying just that one phrase for the cameras, he says, Whedon called out, "Nice work, Ray."

He probably stopped working with the investigator as the matters were too trivial and other actors wanted no part of it.

BOOYAH!
 

SafeOrAlone

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All this because his role was cut and he didn't get his way.

He had smaller complaints that were hand waved, so he tried to blow it up into something else and ride the victim wave. Totally backfired, as you can tell he is upset he didn't get the part in the Flash movie....even after tweeting he wouldn't do it if Hamada was involved.
Read the room, Ray. You're surprised they didn't dump the CEO for you?
 
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SlimySnake

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After watching the Snydercut, I am convinced that Whedon hated these characters and sabotaged the film. He had batman fall flat on his fucking face among other insane things.

As for the rest, I dont think its racism related and the fact that all these accusations were about his arc being cut makes Ray Fischer look like a child. Look at how Gal Gadot handled this. You do this behind the scenes and move on. He shouldve moved on as well. especially after the snyder cut was announced. What an idiot.

He killed his career over some deleted scenes. Everyone except for superman had scenes cut. Flash's entire awesome intro was cut. His entirely finale was cut. Aquaman had like three major scenes with his backstory cut. Wonder Woman had 90% of her big action scene cut. Snyder shot a 4 hour movie, and whedon reshot 80% of it, and was forced to keep it at 120 minutes by WB execs. That meant only 30 minutes of Snyder's scenes were there.
 

Hatemachine

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I get being annoyed about scenes being cut but being annoyed about having to say "Booyah" is pretty funny.

"But he shot the take. As he arrived on set, he says, Whedon stretched out his arms and said a line from Hamlet in a mocking tone: "Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you." Fisher replied, "Joss — don't. I'm not in the mood." As he left the set after saying just that one phrase for the cameras, he says, Whedon called out, "Nice work, Ray."

He probably stopped working with the investigator as the matters were too trivial and other actors wanted no part of it.

BOOYAH!
The phrase "boo ya" essentially reduces Fisher's character to a racial stereotype.
 
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Azurro

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So, Whedon is a piece of shit that hides behind feminism and woke culture? Gee, that NEVER happens.

As for Ray Fisher's allegations of racism...it turned out to be nothing, just creative differences and the studio ruining a movie with their BS.
 
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Jon Neu

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but the character had never said it in the comics

Funny how SJW are so preoccupied with the source material when it suits them.

In an unrelated article, let's celebrate the little mermaid and Corlys Velaryon being black.

Everyone except for superman had scenes cut. Flash's entire awesome intro was cut. His entirely finale was cut. Aquaman had like three major scenes with his backstory cut. Wonder Woman had 90% of her big action scene cut. Snyder shot a 4 hour movie, and whedon reshot 80% of it, and was forced to keep it at 120 minutes by WB execs. That meant only 30 minutes of Snyder's scenes were there.

But Ray Fisher is black, therefore when they cut his scenes, it's racism.

Sorry, that's how all of this works.
 

Ionian

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The phrase "boo ya" essentially reduces Fisher's character to a racial stereotype.

I'm not American so that flew over my head. Looking it up it seems to mean many things. Even used to hear it as a kid and I'm not black.

Maybe the had it in a game of something? Honestly lost on that.

EDIT: Looking at YouTube they say it in sports, like wrestling. I have no idea, just laughed at that part of the report.
 
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It’s called doing your job without second guessing your boss the entire time. I guess that is a foreign concept to the entitled youth of today.

The Office Boomer GIF by MOODMAN


Dude's not the only person who's opened up about the shitbag. Glad to see more "entitled youth" not being 100% committed to one company their whole life. No need to take any of that bullshit.

I get it though, corporations are people and we should never second guess or do anything against their wishes. To those who haven't achieved anything on their own in life, it can be kind of intimidating to stand up to your boss about certain things since they have to fear for their career and worry about not being able to find work after. You've got one life, and then you're dead with no afterlife to look forward to. Luckily we're at that time where the worst generation is "shifting away" and will have less influence on the world. With all of the new advances in technology, it's an amazing time to be alive. Why spend so much time being cucked by your boss? Is this the world that God wants? Bosses being abusive and toxic just because they are in charge of other people? White Jesus didn't die for this shit.
 
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YCoCg

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Fisher says he doesn't see the word in itself as an issue, but he thought it played differently in a live-action film than the animated series. And he thought of Black characters in pop culture with defining phrases: Gary Coleman's "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?"; Jimmie Walker's "Dy-no-mite!" As no one else in the film had a catchphrase, he says, "It seemed weird to have the only Black character say that."

The part that highlights why being forced to say a phrase felt wrong.
 
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The phrase "boo ya" essentially reduces Fisher's character to a racial stereotype.
When I watched the cartoon as a kid I thought he just said "Booyah" because he played football. Seemed like a pretty common thing athletes did, ya know to get themselves pumped up? Kids at my school regardless of race would reference it when we played football. The catchprhase was nowhere near his only characteristic in the show.

I mean if Fisher didn't think it fit with the movie that's fine and I get that angle, but I think Whedon was just a dick to everyone in general; not just him. It's clear whedon didn't care about the project like Snyder did.
 

Reality Czar

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Batman says his catchphrase "I'm rich".

Also wasn't everyone all about Aquaman's catchphrase of "Hell yeah!" or whatever.

I mean that was the big hit of the Justice League trailer. Aquaman having a catch phrase.
 
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SafeOrAlone

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One big tell against Ray Fisher is the fact that he keeps saying "Accountability>Entertainment" & "I won't work with or support Hamada"....

All while promoting ZSJL in HBO Max. You don't think that benefits Hamada, Ray? Sure it does, but...it benefits you and Zack too, so let's ignore it for now.

The reason you know Ray's ego has been completely blown out of proportion is the fact that he tweeted that he would not be involved with any WB projects, if Walter Hamada was involved, only to act surprised when he was dropped from The Flash movie, right after saying that. Did this guy really think they'd trade their CEO for Zack Snyder's Cyborg? Seriously? He seems legit surprised.
Which leads me to further question his perspective on all these other issues he had on set. The guy clearly has an ego so big, he doesn't realize it is out of proportion with the rest of the world's perspective.
Probably a symptom of being famous on twitter, and living in that bubble. Amber Heard still seems to think most people back her too.
 
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SafeOrAlone

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They don't even bother to do research as he's said it in the comics.
I think this is a huge red flag in the article and should be pointed out as such.

Based on principle of not doing proper research on a hitpiece like this, not the matter of "Boo-yah" itself.
 

SafeOrAlone

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Cant believe this is the same dude that brought avengers to live action. Wow
Keep in mind, everything you are absorbing about Joss is coming from a source who is at odds with him.

I'm a little weirded out by how many people here and on resetera (whoops, I checked) that just read the article and go "Joss is such a piece of shit!"

Like, I'm sure there is some truth here, but it's one side of a story. Do you think the narrative would be anything like this if it was Joss Whedon telling the story? Of course not.
Not to excuse any negative accusations, but to take one-sided accusations from someone who was cut from Joss's movie, at face value, and then call Joss something terrible, and be on your merry way. Well...it seems pretty ignorant.
 

plushyp

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To everyone doubting this: It's not just Fisher, there's numerous other people who have complained about Whedon's manipulative and predatory behaviour right from his Buffy days.
 
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Jon Neu

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To everyone doubting this: It's not just Fisher, there's numerous other people who have complained about Whedon's manipulative and predatory behaviour right from his Buffy days.

But Fisher is claiming racism (of course, he is black!) and when he demanded an independent investigator, he then refused to talk to the investigator because all he wants is just a good old witch hunting and been seen as a racial hero.
 

ManaByte

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To everyone doubting this: It's not just Fisher, there's numerous other people who have complained about Whedon's manipulative and predatory behaviour right from his Buffy days.

I don't think anyone is arguing that Whedon isn't an asshole. This is the guy who went in front of 3,000 people at SDCC two months after his Avengers movie made $1 billion and went off on an anti-capitalist rant. The question is the racism claims.
 
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Alright

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What's the difference between the snyder cut and the whedon cut. Which came out first etc and what's the deal?

I don't know who either snyder or whedon are or why there are two movies. before I jump in to the DC universe, is it even worth it?

OT:

A director has a vision and I don't think it's only black people who have had a catch phrase...
 
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DeepBreath87

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Cant believe this is the same dude that brought avengers to live action. Wow
Just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean they can’t be effective. In fact, assholes are often the most effective because they refuse to compromise. So their vision isn’t watered down by outside opinions.
 

Fbh

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To everyone doubting this: It's not just Fisher, there's numerous other people who have complained about Whedon's manipulative and predatory behaviour right from his Buffy days.

But that would actually support the argument that the way Whedon acted towards Fisher wasn't racially motivated
 

Jaysen

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Racist boomers being shitty bosses. A surprise to be sure.



"Hollywood is bad, abusive, a cult and full of liberal pederasts!"

*Black guy speaks up about racism, abuse, and a toxic work environment in a Hollywood movie*

"VICTIM CULTURE! ENTITLED! Shutup, act, and take the abuse because you have a lot of money! They were just jokes bro."
Shhhh don't point out the hypocrisy. They don't like that.
 
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99Luffy

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Thats 1 month before shooting started. Most likely booyah wasnt in the comics when the script was made.
 
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Jaysen

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...I mean yeah, maybe not cancelled but he certainly wouldn't pass health and safety checks for the ways he pushed some actors.
Yep, and every actor who said they didn't mind his methods would be canceled. And by canceled I mean whiney bitches on social media would claim to never watch any movies they're in ever again, and then would anyway.
 

ManaByte

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Thats 1 month before shooting started. Most likely booyah wasnt in the comics when the script was made.
 

SirKicksalot

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Just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean they can’t be effective. In fact, assholes are often the most effective because they refuse to compromise. So their vision isn’t watered down by outside opinions.

Whedon's problem is that he's a petty cunt when compromise is being discussed.

This guy thought his lines were fucking stupid:
 
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SlimySnake

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Whedon's problem is that he's a petty cunt when compromise is being discussed.

This guy thought his lines were fucking stupid:
Actors are weird sometimes. Here is Russel Crowe refusing to say the best line of dialogue in Gladiator.

Russell Crowe was continually unhappy with the screenplay, re-writing much of it to suit his own ends. He would frequently walk off the set if he didn't get his way. The famous line "And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next." he initially refused to say, telling screenwriter William Nicholson, "Your lines are garbage, but I'm the greatest actor in the world, and I can make even garbage sound good". He said the speech anyway, because he was unable to ad-lib anything better. Nicholson said, "In his defense, my lines probably were garbage."
 
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GreyHorace

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I've no patience in reading Ray Fisher's account of how he was screwed over. But it's always nice to see that hack Whedon get shit on. I've never liked the guy and he always rubbed me the wrong way with his preachy tirades about respecting women when it turns out he was a fucking hypocrite this whole time who cheated on his wife and slept around with women working on his shows.

My best friend would probably be heartbroken though learning all this. She's a big fan of Whedon and his work on Buffy.
 
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