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It has been almost a year since the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” showrunner, Joss Whedon, was accused by Charisma Carpenter of having a demeanor that was “casually cruel.” She also refers to the work environment as “hostile and toxic. It is time the director speaks out.
Allegations From Casts
At four months pregnant and weighing in at 126 pounds, Whedon referred to Carpenter as “fat.” she continued, “He was mean and biting, disparaging about others openly, and often played favorites, putting people against one another to compete and vie for his attention and approval.”
Amber Benson, who played Tara on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” echoed Carpenter’s comments on Twitter:
Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top…. There was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it twenty plus years later.
The cast of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” were not the only ones to complain. The cast of the “Justice League” also made negative comments about Whedon who was a fill-in writer/director for the movie.
Gal Gadot claimed that the “Justice League” director “threatened” her career after Whedon took over for Zack Snyder who had a tragedy in the family. He stated that English is not Gadot’s first language and he claimed that he tends to be “flowery” when he speaks. Inferring that she misunderstood what he actually said.
Whedon Responds to Allegations
He told Gadot that she would have to tie him to the railroad tracks to make him cut a scene she wanted removed. According to Whedon this is where the miscommunication comes into play.
The director admitted to New York magazine that in his earlier days as a showrunner he yelled often, he said sometimes he had to yell on the set of “Buffy.” He said it was a “young cast and it was easy for everything to turn into a cocktail party.”
Although Whedon states he was not “mannerly” toward Carpenter, he said he did not refer to her as “fat” at any time during her pregnancy. He added that his experiences were mostly “delightful and charming.”
However, as multiple cast members from both shows chimed in on social media, Michelle Trachtenberg had this to add:
This must. Be known,” that as a teenage actress at the time, “There was a rule. Saying. [Joss is] not allowed in a room alone with Michelle again.
Whedon told New York magazine that he was unaware of what Trachtenberg was talking about, however, other cast members said there was an informal rule after there was a closed meeting between Whedon and the actress that left the then-16-year-old “shaken.”
Written by Jeanette Vietti
Vulture: The Undoing of Joss Whedon
New York magazine: Joss Whedon said he was ‘powerless’ to ‘Buffy’ affairs, denies misconduct
Variety: Joss Whedon Breaks Silence on Misconduct Allegations, Calls Ray Fisher ‘A Bad Actor in Both Senses’
Featured Image Courtesy of Paul Robinson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First and Second Inline Images Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License