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Despite assembling the mightiest titans in the DC Extended Universe, Justice League failed to satisfy audiences or critics when it arrived in theaters in late 2017. And the experience behind the scenes was far from satisfying as well, with original director Zack Snyder stepping away from the film before production wrapped and Avengers architect Joss Whedon taking over for extensive re-shoots and re-edits. In the three years since Justice League came and went from multiplexes, stories of the on-set troubles have emerged from various sources. Now Ray Fisher — who played the tech-enabled hero, Cyborg, in the film — is forcefully speaking out about his negative experience working with Whedon on Twitter.
Earlier this week, the actor posted footage from a 2017 San Diego Comic-Con panel where he had offered public praise for Whedon, saying, “Joss is a great guy, and Zack picked a good person to come in and finish up for him.” (Tellingly, Fisher turns to his co-star Jason Momoa after finishing his remarks, and the once and future Aquaman declines to react or add any comments.)
I’d like to take a moment to forcefully retract every bit of this statement: pic.twitter.com/1ECwwu6TG1
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) June 29, 2020
“I’d like to take a moment to forcefully retract every bit of this statement,” Fisher wrote in his tweet on Monday, leading his followers — including Candyman reboot director Nia DaCosta — to encourage some tea-spilling.
— Nia DaCosta (@NiaDaCosta) June 29, 2020
We knew this was part of the promo Ray. Worry not 😌 We've got you.
— Claire M. (@claire__mrcl) June 29, 2020
The actor obliged Wednesday in an unsparing statement that described Whedon’s on-set behavior as “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable.” Fisher went on to accuse Justice League producers Geoff Johns and Jon Berg of enabling Whedon’s treatment of the cast and crew.
“Accountability>Entertainment,” Fisher wrote, and his fans gave him a virtual hero’s salute for speaking out.
Joss Wheadon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable.
He was enabled, in many ways, by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg.
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) July 1, 2020
Thank you for speaking out Ray. Got your back.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) July 1, 2020
And then people wonder why I never liked Joss.
I knew something was off about him
— The Collector⚒️ (@TheCollector198) July 1, 2020
Thank you for being so brave to speak out on the injustices of the hollywood/entertainment industry. The world needs to know what's been happening. We stand with you as always, along with the cast and crew who were treated wrongly for the production of JL. I💙RF #BORGLIFE pic.twitter.com/wPPRs9Dhzh
— Frank in the Fandom Ω (@FranksFandoms) July 1, 2020
Fisher is the first Justice League cast member to come forward with complaints about Whedon’s behavior. But his co-stars — including Momoa, Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill — seemed to signal their dissatisfaction with the 2017 version of the film by publicly embracing HBO Max’s plans to #ReleasetheSnyderCut in 2021, which will allow Snyder to complete his vision for the film. Fisher himself credits the director with “EMPOWERING me (a black man with no film credits to his name) with a seat at the creative table and input on the framing of the Stones before there was even a script!"
I don’t praise Chris Terrio and @ZackSnyder for simply putting me in Justice League.
I praise them for EMPOWERING me (a black man with no film credits to his name) with a seat at the creative table and input on the framing of the Stones before there was even a script! #BORGLIFE pic.twitter.com/hbshWFkxrJ
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) June 6, 2020
Speaking to Variety, Berg disputed Fisher’s claims, saying it was “categorically untrue that we enabled any unprofessional behavior. I remember [Fisher] being upset that we wanted him to say ‘Booyaa,’ which is a well known saying of Cyborg in the animated series.” While Whedon has yet to publicly respond, the Buffy, the Vampire Slayer creator’s continued involvement in the DCEU already seemed unlikely.
In 2018, Whedon stepped away from helming a Batgirl solo film, and a leaked version of his 2006 script for the long-in-the-works Wonder Woman feature was harshly criticized for being sexist. (Patty Jenkins eventually directed the film, which was released in the summer of 2017 and remains the DCEU’s highest-grossing movie.) Not coincidentally, several Wonder Woman scenes that Whedon wrote and filmed for his version of Justice League received similar criticism and that’s one of the things that fans are hoping to see corrected in the Snyder cut.
I figured that out on my own when Flash tripped and fell on Wonder Woman’s chest. Peak Whedon ‘humor’
— Pistolipete (@pistolipete) July 1, 2020
This is what Joss Whedon did to the character of Wonder Woman when he changed the Justice League movie.
— Lorena Eilhart 🦉 (@lorebuffay) June 29, 2020
Joss Whedon made Wonder Woman look and sound like a deer in headlights. WONDER WOMAN!!!!
If you want an example of how much he doesn't appreciate strong women, he also killed off all the women warriors in her storyline.
I hated Gal Gadot in Justice League.
— 💋Mouthy Gurl💋 (@mouthygurl) July 1, 2020
Idk why people are so eager to defend Joss Whedon when it comes to JL.
Yes, the film was ruined by the studio, and yes, he had his scenes interfered with too.
But he was also the one who over-sexualised Wonder Woman and Lois for humour, reducing their characters to nothing.
— Tyler (@TGCFilms) June 29, 2020
Justice League is currently streaming on HBO Max.
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