The 2017 Justice League was a sour experience for all involved. Forced to leave after the tragic suicide of his child, director Zack Snyder had to step away from the superhero ensemble film to grieve.
This left Warner Brothers the studio behind the film scrambling to find the director. Initially the news that The Avengers director Joss Whedon would be helming the project after Snyder’s departure was a sigh of relief for everyone. However the final product left a lot to be desired. Now, it turns out there was more than what met the eye behind the scenes.
In an explosive tweet, actor Ray Fisher who played Cyborg in the DC comics adapted movie, Justice League has called Whedon out for inappropriate behavior. The actor wrote “Joss Whedon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable”.
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
Ray Fisher accuses Joss Whedon of unprofessional conduct
This isn’t the first time the actor has criticized the director previously stating that he did not like having previously defended and complemented the director in the past.
Recently he shared a video online of him at Comic Con, whilst promoting the movie. In it, he is shown saying some positive things about Joss Whedon but he captions the video with “I’d like to take a moment to forcefully retract every bit of this statement”
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
There have long been rumors of discontentment between key cast members and the famed director. This very video was often shared on the interwebs as possible evidence of the discomfort the cast of Justice League felt when promoting the movie as they did not approve of Whedon’s vision for the film. Fisher in particular was impacted with his role butchered to non-existence with Whedon’s changes.
Other actors also complain of DC’s Whedon problem
Other cast members were also reportedly unhappy with Whedon. Gal Gadot who plays Wonder Woman even declined to do a scene where Ezra Miller’s Flash has to make a lewd comment about her after landing on her.
The scene then had to be done with a stunt double because of how sexist she felt the scene to be. It is to be noted that she and other cast members haven’t come to Fisher’s support thus far however they have always shown more love for director Zack Snyder in interviews then Whedon.
Film director Kevin Smith also claims to have talked to a VFX team that worked on Justice League who didn’t appreciate Whedon and said to have heard Whedon mock Snyder’s vision.
The film’s producer Jon Berg, however, told Variety that it was “categorically untrue that we enabled any unprofessional behavior, adding that “I remember [Fisher] being upset that we wanted him to say ‘Booyah,’ which is a well known saying of Cyborg in the animated series.”
However all of this has stirred up a lot of heat for the director and quite a lot of support for Ray Fisher. Academy Award winner Matthew Cherry vocally supported Fisher and Sleight director J.D Dillard even stated that he would like to direct a Cyborg solo movie. Joss Whedon has not yet responded to these accusations as of right now.
It is important to mention that in the past he has been accused of misconduct. Actress Charisma Carpenter who he worked with on Buffy claimed that the director fired her for being pregnant. Whedon’s own wife painted an unflattering portrait of Whedon calling him out for being a “hypocrite preaching feminist ideals”.
Needless to say that the situation doesn’t look great from Whedon’s side. It will be interesting to note if more actors stand up to back Fisher’s claims or if they just look ahead to the upcoming Justice League HBO Max series.
Usama Masood Ahmad is an entertainment writer and research analyst at Global Village Space.