Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amber Benson, and more have supported allegations against the filmmaker by Buffy star Charisma Carpenter
Charisma Carpenter has accused Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon of abusing his power on the set of the show. In a lengthy statement posted to social media, the Buffy and Angel star has described “casually cruel” behaviour and “disturbing incidents” that have had a long-term effect on her mental and physical health.
“For nearly two decades, I have held my tongue and even made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day,” she said. “Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers.”
Carpenter has claimed that Whedon made “ongoing, passive-aggressive threats” to fire her, and called her “fat” in front of colleagues when she was four months pregnant. Allegedly, he also accused her of sabotaging the show in a meeting about the pregnancy. “In that closed-door meeting, he asked me if I was ‘going to keep it’,” she added, “and manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me.”
The statement follows accusations of “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behaviour on the set of the 2017 film Justice League, levelled at Whedon by actor Ray Fisher last year.
“It is abundantly evident that Joss has persisted in his harmful actions,” Carpenter continued. “My hope now, by finally coming forward about these experiences, is to create space for the healing of others who I know have experienced similar serialized abuses of power.” She also revealed that she recently took part in a WarnerMedia investigation related to Justice League.
In the wake of Carpenter’s accusations, Buffy actors including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amber Benson, and Michelle Trachtenberg have posted messages in support and solidarity. “While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon,” Gellar wrote in an Instagram post. “I will not be making any further statements at this time. But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.”
“Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top,” Benson said via Twitter, adding that Carpenter “is speaking truth and I support her 100 per cent. There was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it twenty plus years later”.
Despite being lauded as a “male feminist” throughout his career, Whedon was also accused of hypocrisy in 2017, when his ex-wife Kai Cole published an essay that detailed multiple infidelities and mistreatment throughout their 16-year marriage.
Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top. @AllCharisma is speaking truth and I support her 100%. There was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it twenty plus years later. #IStandWithRayFisher #IStandWithCharismaCarpenter https://t.co/WJAmDGm76C
— Amber Benson (@amber_benson) February 10, 2021