All The Buffy Stars Speaking Out Against Joss Whedon

The list will surely grow and grow...


by Guy Pewsey |
Updated on

When Charisma Carpenter spoke out against Buffy creator Joss Whedon, claiming that he had created a ‘toxic environment’ on the set of that show and others, we wondered if her former co-stars would come forward. After all, the show is all about female empowerment and standing against evil. But then again, these people still work in Hollywood. Maybe they would think it best to keep quiet. But not long after Charisma made a statement, the corroborations began.

‘For nearly two decades, I have held my tongue and even made excuses for certain events that traumatised me to this day,’ Charisma wrote in a post that lent support to actor Ray Fisher, who has spoken out against Joss following their work in Justice League.

‘Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working 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. The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer. It is with a beating, heavy heart that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively.’

Amber Benson, who played Tara in Buffy, offered her solidarity. ‘Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top’, she wrote. ‘Charisma 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.’

Sarah Michelle Gellar – aka Buffy herself – spoke next. ‘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,’ she wrote on Twitter and Instagram, adding that she is focusing on ‘raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently … I will not be making any further statement at this time. But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.’

Her onscreen sister reposted this, adding ‘thank you for saying this. I am brave enough now as a 35 year old woman.... To repost this. Because. This must. Be known. As a teenager. With his not appropriate behaviour. You. Are my rock!! What he did was very bad. But we win. By surviving! We know what he did. Behind. The. Scenes.’

Actress Clare Kramer, who played Season 5 Big Bad Glory, added: ‘For what it’s worth, I believe and stand with [Charisma, Ray, Amber] and others who have the strength to come forward with their truth. A lot of this industry needs a reset…’

Anthony Head became the first male member of the cast to address the controversy. Speaking on This Morning, he said: 'I’ve been up most of the night just running through my memories, thinking, "What did I miss?"' Because, and this is not a man saying: "I didn’t see it, so it didn’t happen." I am gutted, seriously gutted, because one of my memories, my fondest memory [from Buffy] is the fact it was so empowering. Not just in the words in the script, but the family feel of the show. I am really sad that if people went through these experiences – I was sort of like a father figure – I would hope that someone would come to me and say, "I’m struggling, I’ve just had a horrible conversation." Admittedly, the first post by Charisma was when she was working on Angel, and I was long gone. But there are other posts subsequently that are making me think, "How on Earth did I not know this was going on?"'

Joss is yet to comment on these new claims.

Joss’s ex-wife Kai Cole has previously written about their marriage. ‘He hid multiple affairs and a number of inappropriate emotional ones that he had with his actresses, co-workers, fans and friends, while he stayed married to me,’ she claimed. ‘He deceived me for 15 years so he could have everything he wanted. I believed, everyone believed, that he was one of the good guys, committed to fighting for women’s rights, committed to our marriage, and to the women he worked with.’

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