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Is Ezra Miller’s Apology Enough to Save The Flash?

ScreenRant logo ScreenRant 8/16/2022 Stephen Colbert
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After months of negative headlines, legal issues, and other serious accusations, Ezra Miller finally issued a statement, but will The Flash star's apology be enough to save the movie and Warner Bros. Discovery from the escalating PR nightmare? Miller's statement includes both an apology and a commitment to seek treatment for "complex mental health issues," marking the first step towards an attempt to repair a complicated situation. Still, it's not certain it will be enough to undo the damage already done.

The Flash's trouble started long before Miller began to generate negative headlines thanks to The Flash's first non-cameo appearance in Justice League being significantly altered by Joss Whedon's rewrites and reshoots after he replaced Zack Snyder on the project. The DCEU's behind-the-scenes conflicts spinning out of Justice League resulted in numerous creative team changes and production delays on The Flash, and the situation only got more complicated thanks to a string of legal run-ins and other allegations against Miller in recent months.

Related: Why Is DC Still Willing To Release The Flash Movie?The situation has yet to officially impact The Flash or Miller's future as the character, but recent reports suggest Warner Bros. Discovery has considered a number of approaches if the situation doesn't improve. That includes (in the most extreme case) potentially scrapping the movie altogether as they recently did for other DC movies like Wonder Twins and Batgirl. Now that Miller is openly acknowledging what happened and seeking help, how will it impact The Flash's marketing and release?

What Ezra Miller's Apology Says (and Doesn't Say) About The Controversy

Considering the nature of the numerous allegations against Miller (who uses they/them pronouns), both legal and otherwise, it's important to first understand what Miller's apology actually says and what it doesn't say. In a statement provided to Variety, Miller said “Having recently gone through a time of intense crisis, I now understand that I am suffering complex mental health issues and have begun ongoing treatment. I want to apologize to everyone that I have alarmed and upset with my past behavior. I am committed to doing the necessary work to get back to a healthy, safe and productive stage in my life." Based on the wording of the statement, a few things can be inferred about the state of the situation.

First, the statement acknowledges there is a problem with their behavior that needs to change and Miller admits their mental health struggles are both a cause and a consequence of at least a portion of the very public "intense crisis" the actor has been going through. Second, Miller reveals they've committed to ongoing treatment to return to a "healthy and productive" place, indicating they're seeking help. Third, the apology does not admit to fault in any specific allegations, it simply acknowledges and apologizes to anyone "alarmed" or "upset" by their behavior.

Related: DC's Real Long-Term Plan Problem Is Because Of Bad PR Management

There's still a lot the public doesn't know about the full story behind what actually happened with most of the drama surrounding Miller, but so far none of the legal claims have resulted in any convictions. So far, the allegations without any accompanying legal charges are only supported by hearsay and circumstantial evidence, which is neither sufficient to prove any degree of guilt nor infer any concrete degree of innocence at this time. Miller's statement is an important first step, but a lot more clarity will be needed to assess how much of the situation is smoke and how much of it is fire.

Ezra Miller's Statement Could Reveal WB's PR Strategy For The Flash

Recent reports indicated Warner Bros. Discovery is considering three options for The Flash depending on the reality of Miller's situation. This new statement could be a strong indication of which direction the studio plans to go, and may even shed light on the studio's perspective of the situation based on the information available to them. Between the reported options of Miller seeking professional help and doing limited press for the movie, Miller being excluded from the movie's press tour entirely, or the The Flash being scrapped outright, Miller's statement suggests the studio is currently pursuing the first option.

It's not clear how much Warner Bros. knows about this situation beyond what's been reported online, but given the three options presented and Miller seemingly complying with the first option could suggest the studio believes the circumstances surrounding the allegations against Miller aren't as damning as recent headlines may indicate. Again, this is still a far cry from proof of Miller's innocence, but it does indicate the studio doesn't put much stock in the more egregious accusations, while some of the more minor allegations, if true, aren't damaging enough to harm the movie's release beyond repair.

Related: The Snyderverse's Very Real Popularity Is WB's Biggest DCEU ProblemMost studios would prefer to avoid association with anyone that doesn't keep a squeaky clean public image, but that's commonly not the case as seen with cases such as Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Jeremy Renner, and others working with Marvel despite major allegations or actual convictions for bad behavior. More recent examples like Eternals and The Batman actor Barry Keoghan's arrest for a "public order incident" or The Boys' Homelander actor Anthony Starr recent arrest and conviction for assault after punching a chef twice and smashing a glass in his face, requiring stitches. In Starr's case, he was actually sentenced to 12 months in prison, but reached an agreement to avoid jail time. Despite Starr's conviction, he was still present at San Diego Comic-Con to promote The Boys season 3, which was released as intended.

Can Ezra Miller's Apology Save The Flash?

The future of The Flash is still uncertain, but Miller's statement and commitment to ongoing treatment is an essential first step toward recovering the PR narrative surrounding their involvement in the movie. The situation could certainly deteriorate again, especially if any convictions or damning evidence should come forward regarding the more egregious allegations, but it's doubtful any path to The Flash's release or potential redemption narrative for Miller exists without Miller making a statement of this nature and publicly seeking treatment.

This doesn't take the worst-case scenario of cancellation off the board, or ensure Miller will be involved in the movie's promotion, but it keeps the hope alive for a best-case scenario, which would include Miller's behavior no longer generating negative headlines, additional information being revealed that exonerates them from at least the more egregious claims, and potentially even resulting in a redemption story for Miller's public image as The Flash film approaches its theatrical release date. Granted, a lot of stars need to align for that version of events to be the ultimate outcome, and even a slight misstep or confirmation of bad behavior would derail that narrative, putting the movie in jeopardy once again.

Related: Is The DCEU’s Multiverse Dead Before It Even Begins?

As has been the case for years, The Flash is in a precarious position, but Ezra Miller's statement and Warner Bros.' willingness to move forward with the movie are both positive signs, not just for the movie's eventual release, but also for the potential of Miller's recovery. In both cases, recovery will take more than just a single step, but this at least puts The Flash back on the right trajectory.

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