Ray Fisher opens up about racist conduct in new THR profile
The actor details his tense exchanges with director Joss Whedon
In a new profile in The Hollywood Reporter, Ray Fisher opened up about Justice League and the racist conduct that transpired on the set of the film and more.
In an extensive new report from The Hollywood Reporter, Ray Fisher goes into specific detail as to his experience working on Justice League, and dives into how director and writer Joss Whedon treated the actor. When Whedon took over the film from its original director, Zack Snyder, Fisher told The Hollywood Reporter that he had to, “explain some of the most basic points of what would be offensive to the Black community.”
Whedon’s version of the film significantly cut out Cyborg’s story, which was originally intended to be “the heart” of the film. In the profile, Fisher detailed that after Whedon sent out his initial rewrites, the cast received an email from Whedon in which the director asked for “for questions, comments or fulsome praise.” Fisher later revealed, “All he was looking for was the fulsome praise.”
Fisher also detailed a point of contention between Fisher and Whedon about Cyborg saying his signature line in the film. A line made famous from the cartoon Teen Titan series, “Booyah,” has become synonymous with Cyborg’s character. While the studio and Whedon wanted Cyborg to say the line in the new cut of the film, Fisher pushed back.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Fisher, “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 explained, “It seemed weird to have the only Black character say that.”
While Fisher complained to executives at Warner Bros. about the line, he eventually shot the take anyway, although not without inappropriate comments from Whedon. The Hollywood Reporter detailed the day when Fisher shot the line where, “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 reportedly was not happy with this remark, and said to the director, “Joss — don’t. I’m not in the mood.”
According to Fisher, Whedon called out to the actor as he left the set, saying, “Nice work, Ray.”
As theGrio reported a few weeks ago, the original iteration of Justice League (Zack Snyder’s cut) made its way to HBO Max after massive fan demand. Fisher seemed pleased with the new version of the film, specifically the restored Cyborg arc. He shared on Twitter, “As a Black man that grew up with an absent father, #Cyborg’s story has always hit differently for me. Family and reconciliation are some of my biggest takeaways from #ZackSnydersJusticeLeague It’s not just comic book movie—it’s a study of the human condition.”
You can read the entire profile from The Hollywood Reporter, here.
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