Cyborg actor Ray Fisher accuses 'Justice League' director Joss Whedon of 'unacceptable' on-set behavior

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,” Fisher wrote in his tweet on Monday, leading his followers — including Candyman reboot director Nia DaCosta — to encourage some tea-spilling.

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.

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!"

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.

Justice League is currently streaming on HBO Max.

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