The 33-year-old actor, who played Cyborg in the film, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter for a Tuesday interview, revealing that when director Joss Whedon took over for Zack Snyder, he greatly reduced his character’s role in the film. During reshoots, he says he had “to explain some of the most basic points of what would be offensive to the Black community,” giving the new director notes. Fisher said the director cut him off, saying “It feels like I’m taking notes right now, and I don’t like taking notes from anybody — not even Robert Downey Jr.” Whedon declined to comment for the THR piece.
Fisher also took issue with his character’s “Booyah!” catchphrase. “It seemed weird to have the only Black character say that,” Fisher said. The issue was brought up during a dinner with WB executive Jon Berg.
“This is one of the most expensive movies Warners has ever made,” Fisher said Berg told him. “What if the CEO of AT&T has a son or daughter, and that son or daughter wants Cyborg to say ‘booyah’ in the movie and we don’t have a take of that? I could lose my job.”
Fisher explained that Warner Bros. executive Geoff Johns said he couldn’t “make Joss mad” and that Cyborg smiling only twice in the film was “problematic,” as they “could not have an angry Black man at the center of the film.” Fisher said Johns also recommended Fisher play Cyborg like Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. These suggestions led to disagreements between the actor, Whedon, Johns, Berg, and Toby Emmerich.
“Geoff gave a note using a fictional character as an example of a sympathetic man who is unhappy and has an inclination to hide from the world, but one whom the audience roots for because he has a courageous heart,” Johns’ representative said in a statement.
Fisher said “some of these people are fit for positions of leadership.”
“I don’t want them excommunicated from Hollywood, but I don’t think they should be in charge of the hiring and firing of other people,” Fisher said. “If I can’t get accountability, at least I can make people aware of who they’re dealing with.”