Charisma Carpenter joins “Justice League” actor Ray Fisher in accusing Joss Whedon of abusive behaviour in the workplace.
Carpenter, who worked with Whedon on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel”, accused the renowned filmmaker of verbal abuse that traumatized her.
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— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 10, 2021
“For nearly two decades, I have held my tongue and even made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day,” she began her statement on Twitter. “Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Angel’.“
“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,” Carpenter continued. “He was mean and biting, disparaging about others openly, and often played favourites.”
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"I believe in freedom of speech, but I also believe that we have an obligation to condemn speech that is racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic, or hateful."
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 9, 2021
Whedon allegedly called her “fat” in front of the cast and crew while she was pregnant. Carpenter says Whedon asked if she was “going to keep it” and “manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me.”
Carpenter’s co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar chimed in, saying that while she loves the “Buffy” franchise she has no interest in being associated with Whedon.
“While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summer, I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon,” Gellar wrote on Instagram. “I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently, so 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.”
Gellar’s post inspired a comment from her onscreen sibling, Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Buffy’s sort-of sister Dawn.
“Thank you @sarahmgellar for saying this,” said Trachtenberg, who was just 14 when she was cast on the show. “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 behavior….very. Not. Appropriate.”
“Buffy” star Eliza Dushku, who played Faith on the show, then posted a message of support for Carpenter.
Dushku’s message included, “CC, my heart aches for you and I’m so sorry you have held this for so long. Your post was powerful, painful, and painted a picture we’ll collectively never un-see or un-know.
“May you and countless others feel the solidarity and connection you have likely missed for too long,” she concluded. “From courage, come change and hope. It starts and will end because of courageous truth-tellers like you. I admire, respect, and love you.”
James Marsters, who played Spike, also should his support.
“While I will always be honoured to have played the character of Spike, the Buffy set was not without challenges,” Marsters wrote. “I do not support abuse of any kind and am heartbroken to learn of the experiences of some of the cast. I send my love and support to all involved.”
Anthony Head, better known as Giles, told “This Morning” he didn’t know about the alleged abuse on set.
I’ve been up most of the night just running through my memories thinking, ‘What did I miss?'” he said. “And this is not a man saying, ‘I didn’t see it, so it didn’t happen.’ It’s just, I am gutted, I’m seriously gutted.”
“I’m really sad if people went through these experiences that they didn’t — I was a sort of like a father figure and I would hope that someone would come to me and say, ‘I’m struggling,’ or, ‘I just had a horrible conversation,'” he continued. “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?'”
Amber Benson, who played Tara, added, “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.”
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
ET Canada has reached out to Whedon’s manager for comment.