Ray Fisher more than being known for his role as Cyborg is known for how bad he had a time playing the iconic DC character in Justice League – 41% Joss Whedon. He was the victim of racism by the director, but also by several Warner executives, including Jon Berg and Geoff Johns. That is something that has been known in recent months. With the departure of Zack Snyder’s Justice League – 82% found that indeed Cyborg was intentionally reduced to being a secondary character when he was originally the central character of the film. Taking advantage of the film’s release, he has made many statements about what he suffered at the hands of Warner.
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History took a new turn when Fisher spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the hard times that Warners put him through while filming the cut of Whedon. Kim masters, of said medium, wrote a long article about everything he talked to the actor. Among the many things he talked about, he mentioned that he was emotionally blackmailed into saying Cyborg’s trademark phrase: booyah. He also explained that while he does not see the word as inherently problematic, he does think it is racist that only he had a catchphrase, as this is linked to a whole tradition of phrases like this in black characters.
Fisher says that he doesn’t see the word itself as a problem, but thinks it doesn’t work the same in a live-action film as it does in an animated series. And it makes you think of black pop culture characters with distinctive phrases: ‘Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?’ (What are you talking about Willis?) Or ‘Dy-no-mite’ by Jimmie Walker. Since no one else had a signature phrase, he says, ‘I thought it was weird that only the black character had to say something like that’
Also read: #IStandWithRayFisher becomes a trend after Geoff Johns is revealed to have threatened his career
One of the main effects of The Hollywood Reporter article was that the hashtag #IStandWithRayFisher became trending on Twitter. One of the people who has supported Ray Fisher was the comic book writer David F. Walker. He is best known for being a co-creator of the winning Eisner series. Bitter Root for Image Comics and from Naomi for DC; however, he was also a writer for Cyborg for a time during The New 52. His work was compiled into two volumes in 2016: unplugged and Enemy of the State.
This author tweeted to show solidarity with Fisher and talk about the fact that he too was forced to have Cyborg say booyah and in DC they turned a deaf ear to any complaints about it:
For the record: I had no problem with Luke Cage saying ‘sweet Christmas’, but it broke my soul every time he wrote ‘booyah’ for Cyborg. My objections fell on deaf ears and in the end me and my soul departed. The pun was intentional
For the record: I had no problem with Luke Cage saying “Sweet Christmas,” but every time I wrote “Booyah” for Cyborg, it crushed my soul. My objections feel upon deaf ears, and in the end I souled out. Pun intended. #IStandWithRayFisher
– David F Walker (@ DavidWalker1201) April 6, 2021
The interesting thing is that during the time he wrote about this character the creative director of DC was Geoff johns. He left that position to go to DC Films. It is very likely that it is no accident that both incidents occurred when he was in charge. Recall that Ray Fisher also had the following to say about himself and the others involved:
I don’t think some of these people are suitable for leadership positions. I don’t want to be excommunicated from Hollywood, but I don’t think they should be in charge of hiring and firing other people … If I can’t get them to take responsibility, I can at least make people know who they are.
People may have opinions on this controversy, but the fact is that when white people force someone to do something that they don’t feel like in order for a character of color to conform to how they think they should be, they are racist. There are not many doubts about it.
Do not stay without reading: Warner didn’t want The Hollywood Reporter’s Justice League investigation to come to light