Joss Whedon responds to Ray Fisher’s accusation that he requested a person of color’s skin tone to be changed during Justice League’s post-production.
A spokesperson for director Joss Whedon responds to Ray Fisher’s latest claim that the director digitally changed the color of someone’s skin in Justice League. It has been almost three years since the DC team-up movie hit theaters, but it has become an even bigger talking point in recent months. After the announcement that Zack Snyder is returning to finish the Snyder Cut for HBO Max, star Ray Fisher began a public dispute with Warner Bros. about his toxic experience on Justice League after Snyder originally left. Most of his allegations have been attributed to the behavior of Whedon and producers Geoff Johns and Jon Berg.
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Fisher’s Cyborg was envisioned as the heart of Justice League in Snyder’s version of the film, but his role, like many others, was changed and reduced in the theatrical cut. Many have pointed out that most characters cut from the film were played by people of color, such as Kiersey Clemons’ Iris West or Zheng Kai’s Ryan Choi. Fisher recently stated that he believes this was intentional, especially after hearing a disturbing story about Whedon. The star accused Whedon of wanting to use CGI to change the tone of an unnamed cast member’s skin because he didn’t like it.
This serious accusation by Fisher was shared without an immediate comment from Whedon or one of his representatives. In the hours after the interview went live, Screen Rant obtained a statement from an unnamed spokesperson for Whedon about Fisher’s latest claim. Here’s what the response said:
The individual who offered this statement acknowledged that this was just something that he had heard from someone else and accepted as truth, when in fact simple research would prove that it was false. As is standard on almost all films, there were numerous people involved with mixing the final product, including the editor, special effects person, composer, etc. with the senior colorist responsible for the final version’s tone, colors, and mood. This process was further complicated on this project by the fact that Zack shot on film, while Joss shot on digital, which required the team, led by the same senior colorist who has worked on previous films for Zach, to reconcile the two.
UPDATE (10/29/2020): Fisher has responded to the statement via CinemaBlend. He said:
This is only a hair’s breadth away from Berg’s, ‘Fisher was upset about booyah’ defense. I’ve been trying my best to make sure that Joss Whedon and Jon Berg aren’t able to be thrown completely under the bus by the other guys. But when they make these half baked knee-jerk excuses publicly, they make my job a lot harder. I’m settling in with my family for the night. I’ll have a more in-depth response tomorrow.
The statement from Whedon’s spokesperson doesn’t flat-out deny that such a change was made but rather pushes the potential blame to more parties. It starts by knocking Fisher’s accusation as something he heard secondhand and then says that it is false. However, the statement then discusses how many other people are involved in achieving a film’s final look. This insinuates that if a person of color’s complexion was changed on Justice League, many other people—including those who worked with Snyder—are responsible for such a change. It even brings up the different shooting styles of Whedon and Snyder, almost as if matching the looks between scenes could be a reason why someone’s skin color could be changed.
At this point, Fisher’s statement doesn’t appear to be any less likely to be true, but it might not have been Whedon who ultimately made the decision. The next domino that could fall in this particular portion of Fisher’s battle with WB and Whedon is if the person who relayed this information to him comes forward. If the unnamed person turned out to have been part of the post-production process and heard Whedon say what Fisher claims he did, then Whedon’s already crumbling reputation will take another hit. Regardless of who ultimately is responsible for possibly altering the color of someone’s skin on Justice League, it is not something that should be taken lightly, so hopefully more information on the situation comes in the future.
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