Justice League star Ray Fisher fought against an ableist joke in Joss Whedon’s theatrical release.
The 2017 version of DC’s team-up movie has aged like a carton of milk, with Whedon’s reshaping of Zack Snyder’s original vision drawing intense controversy, coupled with extensive allegations against the Buffy creator from various corners of his entertainment past.
Fisher, who stars as Victor Stone, aka Cyborg, has been one of the most vocal critics, calling for accountability since July last year. In recent interviews, he’s elaborated on the claims and how dismissive Whedon was said to be on set.
In a new interview with Empire, Fisher explained how there wasn’t the same collaboration between himself, Whedon and Warner Bros. when it came to finessing Cyborg’s character. ‘Unfortunately, gaslighting occurred by asking for input but, ultimately, biting people’s heads off when you gave it,’ he said.
In an earlier interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Fisher claimed Whedon said, ‘It feels like I’m taking notes right now, and I don’t like taking notes from anybody — not even Robert Downey Jr.’
The actor cited two occasions during Whedon’s reshoots in which he felt compelled to say something: an ableist joke regarding Victor’s lack of feeling in his legs; and a scene where he would have been ‘drawn and quartered’ by Steppenwolf. In the finished cut, the villain ripped off his leg.
He said, ‘Had I not been so welcomed in the initial process I might not have felt as comfortable speaking up about those circumstances. But I had to try to rein those guys in. It was not a good look to essentially pull this Black man, who has already endured so much physical trauma, limb from limb.’
Fisher wasn’t the only star to have problems with some of the revised lines. Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman, is said to have clashed with Whedon, with a source saying she had ‘issues about her character being more aggressive than her character in Wonder Woman. She wanted to make the character flow from one movie to the next’.
Whedon also reportedly slighted Patty Jenkins, who’s directed Wonder Woman’s two solo movies. Another source claimed, ‘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.’
Gadot and Jenkins then had a meeting with former Warner Bros. chairman Kevin Tsujihara. ‘I had my issues with [Whedon] and Warner Bros. handled it in a timely manner,’ Gadot said in a statement.
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