Charisma Carpenter, who starred as Cordelia Chase in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel, is talking out in opposition to the collection’ creator, Joss Whedon, accusing him of abusive habits on set. “Joss was the vampire,” Carpenter wrote Wednesday on Twitter and Instagram in posts that accuse Whedon of “traumatizing” habits,” “being casually merciless,” berating her about her being pregnant, and finally firing her in consequence.
Within the following hours and days, Carpenter’s posts have been met with assist from a number of fellow Buffy alumni, together with Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amber Benson, Michelle Trachtenberg, Eliza Dushku, and Clare Kramer. Benson corroborated Carpenter’s account and described a “poisonous” set. Trachtenberg, who was 14 when she joined the present, accused Whedon of inappropriate habits, alleging there was a rule on set that Whedon was not allowed to be alone together with her.
A consultant for Whedon didn’t return TV Information’s request for remark. (Whedon recently exited as showrunner of the forthcoming supernatural HBO drama The Nevers, writing that the dedication of creating the present is “greater than he can deal with” through the COVID-19 pandemic.)
In her social media posts, Carpenter describes Whedon’s units as a “hostile and poisonous work atmosphere,” wherein Whedon performed favorites with solid members and made “biting, disparaging” feedback, together with “callously calling me ‘fats’ to colleagues once I was 4 months pregnant, weighing 126 lbs.” Carpenter, who turned pregnant throughout her time on Angel, mentioned that when she disclosed her being pregnant to Whedon, he requested her if she “was going to maintain it.”
“He proceeded to assault my character, mock my spiritual beliefs, accuse me of sabotaging the present, after which unceremoniously fired me the next season as soon as I gave beginning,” she wrote.
Benson, who performed Tara Maclay on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, tweeted that Carpenter “is talking reality and I assist her 100%.”
“Buffy was a poisonous atmosphere and it begins on the high,” Benson wrote. “There was a variety of harm carried out throughout that point and many people are nonetheless processing it twenty plus years later.”
Gellar, who starred as Buffy within the franchise, referenced Carpenter’s assertion in an Instagram post, writing, “Whereas I’m proud to have my title related to Buffy Summers, I do not need to be eternally related to the title Joss Whedon. I’m extra targeted on elevating my household and surviving the pandemic at present, so I cannot be making any additional statements right now. However I stand with all survivors of abuse and am pleased with them for talking out.”
Trachtenberg, who in later seasons performed Buffy’s youthful sister, Daybreak Summers, shared Gellar’s Instagram put up, writing, “Thanks @sarahmgellar for saying this. I’m courageous sufficient now as a 35 12 months outdated lady….To repost this. As a result of. This should. Be identified. As a teen. Along with his not applicable habits….very. Not. Acceptable.” Trachtenberg later added to her Instagram put up to broaden on her accusation, implying that administration was conscious of Whedon’s alleged misconduct: “The final. Remark I’ll make on this. Was. There was a rule. Saying. He is not allowed in a room alone with Michelle once more.”
Kramer, who performed hell god Glory, the key villain within the present’s fifth season, additionally tweeted her support, saying she believes the actors who’re talking out: “For what it is price, I imagine and stand with @allcharisma, @ray8fisher, @amber_benson, and others who’ve the energy to return ahead with their reality. Plenty of this trade wants a reset.”
Dushku, who performed the vampire slayer Religion after which went on to anchor Whedon’s later collectionDollhouse, shared an Instagram post stating she was unaware of Carpenter’s expertise however referred to as her a “brave truth-teller.”
“CC, my coronary heart aches for you & I am so sorry you may have held this for thus lengthy,” Dushku wrote partially. “Your put up was highly effective, painful, and painted an image we’ll collectively by no means un-see or un-know. Thanks. I hadn’t identified it and I will not overlook it. … Neglecting to ‘title’ the facility/gender/sexual/racial abuse epidemic within the leisure trade (and for that matter society typically) permits the abusers and solely emboldens and finally fortifies abusive programs. Could you and numerous others really feel the solidarity and connection you may have doubtless missed for too lengthy.”
Dushku has beforehand spoken out in opposition to sexual misconduct in Hollywood, alleging in 2018 she was molested on the age of 12 by a stunt coordinator on the set of True Lies. (Two extra girls got here ahead with similar claims. Joel Kramer denied the accusations.) Dushku additionally obtained a $9.5 million settlement from CBS when an inner investigation discovered she was written off standard procedural drama Bull after she accused star Michael Weatherly of sexual harassment. A few of Weatherly’s feedback have been caught on tape. The actor apologized, and CBS has repeatedly defended its resolution to resume Bull, citing the present’s reputation.
In Carpenter’s social media posts about Whedon, she mentioned she stands with Ray Fisher, the Justice League actor who seven months in the past accused Whedon of “gross, abusive, unprofessional” habits towards the film’s solid and crew whereas he was directing reshoots for the movie in 2017. Fisher’s remark led Warner. Bros. to launch an inner investigation, wherein Carpenter mentioned she participated.
“Just lately, I participated in WarnerMedia’s Justice League investigation as a result of I imagine Ray to be an individual of integrity who’s telling the reality,” she wrote. “His firing as Cyborg in The Flash was the final straw for me. Though I’m not shocked, I’m deeply pained by it.”
She mentioned she feels partly accountable as a consequence of her silence about her personal expertise.
“It’s abundantly evident that Joss has continued in his dangerous actions, persevering with to create wreckage in his wake,” she wrote. “My hope now, by lastly coming ahead about these experiences, is to create area for the therapeutic of others who I do know have skilled comparable serialized abused of energy.”
Fisher thanked Carpenter on Twitter, writing, “Charisma Carpenter is among the bravest individuals I do know. I’m eternally grateful for her braveness and for her lending her voice to the Justice League investigation. Learn her reality. Share her reality. Shield her in any respect prices.”
Learn Carpenter’s full assertion under:
For almost 20 years, I’ve held my tongue and even made excuses for sure occasions that traumatize me to this present day.
Joss Whedon abused his energy on quite a few events whereas engaged on the units of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Whereas he discovered his misconduct amusing, it solely served to accentuate my efficiency nervousness, disempower me, and alienate me from my friends. The disturbing incidents triggered a continual bodily situation from which I nonetheless endure. It’s with a beating, heavy coronary heart that I say I coped in isolation and, at occasions, destructively.
Final summer season, when Ray Fisher publicly accused Joss of abusive and unprofessional habits towards the solid and crew throughout reshoots on the Justice League set in 2017, it gutted me. Joss has a historical past of being casually merciless. He has created hostile and poisonous work environments since his early profession. I do know as a result of I skilled it first-hand. Repeatedly.
Like his ongoing, passive-aggressive threats to fireplace me, which wreaks havoc on a younger actor’s shallowness. And callously calling me ‘fats’ to colleagues once I was 4 months pregnant, weighing 126 lbs. He was imply and biting, disparaging about others overtly, and sometimes performed favorites, placing individuals in opposition to each other to compete and vie for his consideration and approval.
He referred to as me in for a sit-down assembly to interrogate and berate me relating to a rosary tattoo I acquired to assist me really feel extra spiritually grounded in an more and more unstable work local weather that affected me bodily.
Joss deliberately refused a number of calls from my brokers making it unattainable to attach with him to inform him the information that I used to be pregnant. Lastly, as soon as Joss was apprised of the state of affairs, he requested a gathering with me. In that closed-door assembly, he requested me if I used to be ‘going to maintain it’ and manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and religion in opposition to me. He proceeded to assault my character, mock my spiritual beliefs, accuse me of sabotaging the present, after which unceremoniously fired me the next season as soon as I gave beginning.
At six months pregnant, I used to be requested to report back to work at 1:00 AM after my physician really helpful shortening my work hours. Our to lengthy and bodily demanding days and the emotional stress of getting to defend my wants as a working pregnant lady, I started to expertise Braxton Hicks contractions. It was clear to me that 1:00 AM name was retaliatory.
Again then, I felt powerless and alone. With no different choice, I swallowed the mistreatment and carried on. In any case, I had a child on the best way, and I used to be the first breadwinner of my rising household. Sadly, all this was taking place throughout one of the crucial great time in new motherhood. All that promise and pleasure sucked proper out. And Joss was the vampire.
Regardless of the harassment, part of me nonetheless sought his validation. I made excuses for his habits and repressed my very own ache. I’ve even said publicly at conventions that I would work with him once more. Solely lately, after years of remedy and a wake-up name from the Time’s Up motion, do I perceive the complexities of this demoralized considering. It’s unattainable to know the psyche with out enduring the abuse. Our society and trade vilify the victims and glorify the abusers for his or her accomplishments. The onus is on the abused with an expectation to just accept and adapt to be employable. No accountability on the transgressor who sails on unscathed. Unrepentant. Remorseless.
These reminiscences and extra have weighed on my soul like bricks for almost half of my life. I want I mentioned one thing sooner. I want I had the composure and braveness all these years in the past. However I muted myself in disgrace and conditioned silence.
With tears welling, I really feel an awesome sense of duty to Ray and others for remaining personal about my expertise with Joss and the struggling it has prompted me. It’s abundantly evident that Joss has continued in his dangerous actions, persevering with to create wreckage in his wake. My hope now, by lastly coming ahead about these experiences, is to create area for the therapeutic of others who I do know have skilled comparable serialized abused of energy.
Just lately, I participated in WarnerMedia’s Justice League investigation as a result of I imagine Ray to be an individual of integrity who’s telling the reality. His firing as Cyborg in The Flash was the final straw for me. Though I’m not shocked, I’m deeply pained by it. It troubles and saddens me that in 2021 professionals STILL have to decide on between whistleblowing within the office and job safety.
It has taken me so lengthy to muster the braveness to make this assertion publicly. The gravity of it isn’t misplaced on me. As a single mom whose household’s livelihood depends on my craft, I am scared. Regardless of my pricey about its impression on my future, I can now not stay silent. That is overdue and obligatory. It’s time.