‘The Flash’ and More – IndieWire | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

The jury’s still out on whether cancel culture means a damn thing for actors in the long term. And yet, at this very moment, you can bet some Hollywood executive is sweating bullets over a star’s personal life. Social media has turned pop culture into a veritable battleground for justice (or ham-fisted fairness, if you like). With a clearer, closer view into celebrities’ offscreen selves, which oh-so-special people get to be in movies and on TV is of particular interest and outrage to the streaming, subscribing, scrolling masses.

Sure, we’ve always looked to stories to tell us right from wrong. And yes, tabloid culture is as beloved an American pastime as looking at your phone during a baseball game. But in an age when everyone’s tweeting around the metaphorical campfire, Hollywood has never seemed more like an unofficial extension of our justice system. We all get to talk to everyone all the time. So who are we letting onto the world’s biggest podiums, and why?

Whether they’ve got a project in production, just released, or worse still, stuck somewhere in between, those clammy PR people have reason to worry. Actors, regardless of artistry, are the faces of the products that studios, streamers, and networks are trying to sell. Just this spring, Jonathan Majors went from glowing reviews for “Creed III,” a lucrative part in Marvel’s Phase 5, and award hype for “Magazine Dreams” to an uncertain future punctuated with court dates. The actor was arrested in New York City, and charged with multiple counts of assault and harassment. A tidal wave of abuse allegations have followed.

Meanwhile, DC Studios saw Ezra Miller — aka comic book history’s most problematic The Flash — plead guilty to one count misdemeanor unlawful trespass in a Vermont court. In exchange, the prosecution dropped felony burglary and petit larceny charges. The actor attributed their ongoing legal struggles, as well as allegations of assault and grooming, to “complex mental health issues.” DC Studios has stood by them thus far, and left the fate of the beloved character in purgatory for now.

Dealing with the bad PR of two actors isn’t an existential threat to the superhero sequel machine, of course. (We might soon discover that one unexpected benefit of multiverses is their ability to rationalize any re-castings that a star’s bad behavior might necessitate.) But persona non grata performers are a headache, even for Hollywood’s biggest money makers. The following is an incomplete list of movies and TV shows with stars canceled between production and release. It doubles as a survey of Hollywood’s history with cancel culture and its execs’ evolving strategy for managing actors’ misbehavior.

Entries are listed in roughly chronological order; except for Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, who have been reordered to appear together for obvious reasons.

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