Charisma Carpenter, Michelle Trachtenberg & others blast ‘toxic’ Joss Whedon

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In 2017, Joss Whedon’s ex-wife outed him as a gross dude, a fake feminist, an emotional abuser and a compulsive cheater. Her essay seemingly opened the floodgates – while Whedon’s private and public actions had been whispered about for years, slowly people began to discuss his creepy, toxic and criminal behavior in professional settings. Ray Fisher spoke about Whedon’s “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behavior on the set of Justice League. But the biggest rumors were always about Whedon’s TV work, and his habit of casting young, attractive actresses in his shows and then being disgusting to and about them.

This week, a lot of those rumors came to a head when Charisma Carpenter made a new statement. Carpenter worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel until she was fired right after she had a baby. In her statement, she says that Whedon abused his power and “has a history of being casually cruel. He has created hostile and toxic work environments since his early career. I know because I experienced it first-hand. Repeatedly.” She says Whedon berated her for appearance, called her fat when she was pregnant and accused her of sabotaging the show when she got pregnant. Then he fired her right after she gave birth.

Jesus, that is f–king awful. Following Carpenter’s statement, Amber Benson backed her up, agreeing that Whedon created a toxic environment on set. Eliza Dushku backed her up as well. Sarah Michelle Gellar posted a vague statement stating that she stands with survivors, and Michelle Trachtenberg reposted it with this message: “Thank you @sarahmgellar 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 behavior….very. Not. Appropriate. So now. People know. What Joss. Did. The last. Comment I will make on this. Was. There was a rule. Saying. He’s not allowed in a room alone with Michelle again.” I’m absolutely gutted for what these actresses went through, made worse by the media’s insistence that Whedon was some kind of godsend to young actresses and a true feminist. Hiding in plain sight. So many of these predators and toxic sh-theads were hiding in plain sight.

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107 Responses to “Charisma Carpenter, Michelle Trachtenberg & others blast ‘toxic’ Joss Whedon”

  1. Persephone says:

    This guy makes my blood boil.

  2. Sierra says:

    There has been rumours about him for years and I am glad more people are coming out.

  3. Kh says:

    J. august Richards, who was Gunn on Angel (and one of my favorites!) Also posted a lovely and kind supportive post on twitter. I’ve seen some more from more random supportive cast, but nothing from writers or co producers.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      apparently, the guy who played Clem made a statement as well (I haven’t seen it, only saw a reference to it on twitter)

  4. Fleur says:

    I want to know more about that Michelle story

    • Dtab says:

      Yes, me too…she was a child and if he wasn’t allowed in a room alone with her then that screams abuse. Although it is absolutely her story to tell when and if she ever wants to. Either way I hope she is okay

      • Julie says:

        I thought it sounded like she’s gagged by an NDA but remembered that an NDA doesn’t cover illegal acts. I really hope it wasn’t what we think

      • Lisa says:

        How did her fellow male actors not notice this or comment on it?

    • Ariel says:

      She was 15 when she started on that show- this has gone from disgusting and repulsive to borderline criminal. Vile.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yeah that really shook me.
      I was under the impression he was just an a-hole and treated people poorly, and his ex-wife implied there were inappropriate relationships, but that sounds…really, really bad.
      I kind of remember Michelle going through a rough period not long after that show, which kind of makes sense now. I hope she’s got strong support around her.

  5. Michael says:

    I remember when he got divorced and his ex-wife accused him of never actually being a feminist and being abusive. I noted then that none of his former cast spoke up for him. Not one. So I guess that was the first big crack in his image and now it is a huge cavern. I doubt he will work again.

    • cassandra says:

      I remember when the 25th Anniversary stuff was coming out there was a cast reunion video. I thought it was notable at the time that Whedon was interviewed separately from all the cast members…now we know why.

      Also explains why Nicholas Brendan was allowed to be as toxic as he was

      • sa says:

        Nicholas Brendan was toxic? I didn’t know that. But I guess Xander was supposed to be a stand-in for JW, so I guess it makes sense that he’d be allowed to get away with stuff.

      • H says:

        Nick is/was a raging alcoholic. I went to a Buffy con in Chicago and got on the elevator and Nick was in the corner, drunk off his butt. I didn’t know it was him at the time, until he removed his baseball cap. There was a band playing (you paid to see them, it might have been James Marsters band?), Nick got so drunk, he was thrown out by security. I loved him on Criminal Minds and Buffy, but he’s a mess.

      • sa says:

        @H, thanks! I didn’t know any of that. I hope he seeks (or has already sought) help.

    • AnnaKist says:

      I’ve never heard of him, but I’ve never watched these shows, either. I truly hope this is the end of the line for him. He’s a maggot.

    • Ariel says:

      White men will always work again.

      • Franklymydear... says:

        Not necessarily…Stephen Collins and Kevin Spacey were outed as disgusting men who abused their power and fame on younger people and they have been shunned, ostracized, cancelled. Good riddance to them (and I was a fan of both) and good riddance to this POS.

    • Bread and Circuses says:

      That really stuck out to me also. Generally ~some~ colleagues will support a big-name Hollywood type when stories like that come out, but none of the many, many women Whedon said a word in his favour.

  6. Digital Unicorn says:

    He’s another one where there were rumours for many years about his behaviour. IIRC I think there was issues between him and SMG, stories were leaked to the press about her being ‘difficult to work with’ particularly in the first few seasons.

    • Sa says:

      Right! I’ve been thinking about that the past few days, how when Buffy was still on there were lots of stories about SMG, and I specifically remember hearing things about her being cold and distant. But mysteriously, I’ve never heard any stories about her from other shows she’s worked on.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I think towards the end of the show there was tension between the cast (over pay and screen time) – but I imagine a lot of that was in part down to Whedon and his behaviour creating the toxic work environment in the first place pitting people against each other.

      • Emily says:

        When a man is called difficult in Hollywood it’s because he’s actually an abusive POS, screaming at crew etc. A woman is called difficult when she has opinions, professional standards or stands up for herself.

        SMG is lifelong friends with so many of her coworkers. Clearly she was never the problem. Men covering for men leak these stories and media LOVE to cover them. We see the misogyny with the Britney story too. And with Megan Fox to some extent.

      • Maliksmama says:

        There was a rumor that she was in some sort of kerfuffle with Susan Lucci on AMC. As everyone whosever worked with Susan has said she was a wonderful person, I’ve always felt SMG has some issue.

      • TheOriginalMia says:

        At the end, there was a lot going on. SMG was ready to move on. A lot of the supporting cast wasn’t. Instead of discussing things with them, SMG & Joss decided to end things. While Smidge knew Buffy was going to be cancelled, the rest of the cast was blindsided. Then the EW article came out and FPJ said some things he shouldn’t have said about the supporting cast, and by the end…they were all done with each other.

      • Dlc says:

        SMG was never my favorite. But she was a kid when she worked with Susan Lucci. I’m curious about the silence from David, James and Allison. Has Marnie or any other producers said anything?

    • sa says:

      I just remembered hearing a while back about how JW made SMG come in for reshoots on the eve of, maybe morning of, her wedding (I don’t remember the specifics other than it was after she’d gotten her wedding hair done). I’m pretty sure I learned this on the dvd commentary, so it’s not just a rumor and was apparently a move JW was proud enough of to put it out there himself.

      Obviously it’s not the same level as making a pregnant woman whose doctor told her to reduce her hours work at 1am, but it’s the same idea that this guy loved to exert his power over these women’s lives, well beyond what any boss should.

    • FilmTurtle says:

      Yep, I remember those “difficult” rumors. They swirled around Charisma Carpenter, Michelle Trachtenberg and Emma Caulfield, too. F**king infuriating.

      • lucy2 says:

        I’ve always wondered why Charisma never had a bigger career after Buffy/Angel. Definitely seems like someone labeled a lot of those women as difficult and probably stifled their careers.
        I do remember rumors about cast tension and SMG (who seems like a very nice person actually) and it makes sense that a lot of that came from JW.

    • AMM says:

      SMG seems to be able to hold onto relationships. She’s maintained strong ties with a lot of her former cast mates, particularly the women. And I remember when Buffy ended, SMG made some comments about the work being difficult and being relieved to be done. I fully believe Whedon was the difficult one.

  7. Shirurusu says:

    Feminism is to some men what the clergy is to some pedophiles and what the BDSM community is to some abusive guys who like to hurt women. A cover they can hide under to do their toxic shit to people. Does it mean every “feministic” guy is abusive? No, just like not all priests are pedophiles or all BDSM people are really undercover abusing their partners. But it does tend to also attract some really messed up guys who take advantage of their position and get away with it more easily because of their label :/

    • Jellybean says:

      Wasn’t he raised by a strong, feminist mother who was second or third generation writer?

      • Nini says:

        A lot of guys raised by “strong, feminist” women end up hating women for a wide variety of reasons. You can also have a feminist woman who happens to be a really toxic abuser and the child can grow up to hate her and all women by extension.

      • harla says:

        I don’t know that that would make a difference, some people are bad and all the wonderful influences in their lives won’t make them any better.

      • Hannah Young says:

        I worked with a lot of men raised by strong, independent women, some famously so. Many of them were “mama’s boys” seemingly with deep love & respect for their mamas. Most people view these men as one of the “good ones” but they were some of the most misogynistic men I’ve ever known. By some chance if they respect women, it’s only their mamas and only in an over-the-top, put-them-on-a-pedestal way.

  8. Jellybean says:

    The abuse of power with such a young cast and the hypocricy of his ‘woke’ public image; these things make this story so much worse.

  9. Darla says:

    I knew there was some very bad stuff to drop when HBO kicked him off his own show, The Nevers. https://dildockdystopia.com/blogs/news/was-joss-whedon-fired-from-the-hotly-anticipated-hbo-series-the-nevers

    So nothing surprised or shocked me because Buffy/Angel fans have long known what went down with Charisma was ugly…until Trachtenberg wrote that post. That shocked me. She was underage. I didn’t know he was quite THAT predatory. Also, how about we believe people? I believed Ray Fischer, and if you didn’t, when Jason Momoa came out and backed him, all doubt should have been removed. Because Momoa is a franchise lead and has A LOT to lose. When was the last time an A list star did that? Come on. It was all out there. And as much as I love The Flash, and people, I love The Flash, I cannot see the next one because Warner Brothers fired Ray Fisher from it. They need to give him his role back, if he’ll take it, and publicly apologize.

    • sa says:

      Didn’t the actor that plays The Flash (movie Flash, not tv Flash) choke a woman and not get fired? If they’re going to try to make amends to Ray Fisher, I’d love to see him brought back, with a raise, to one of the other movies that doesn’t have a problematic lead, instead of The Flash. I don’t see it happening, but I’d love if it did.

      • Darla says:

        Yes, I wish they would recast Ezra Miller with Grant Gustin who plays The Flash on the CW, and as far as I know is unproblematic. He’s also really good.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    It is so disturbing. I feel like this probably happens in many workplaces and women are just afraid or intimidated into silence. I know I had some bad experiences and my bosses wouldn’t believe me or wouldn’t intervene. I just got painted as a troublemaker and eventually forced out.

  11. Sa says:

    For the timeline, I’m pretty sure that Charisma Carpenter confirmed she was fired for being pregnant years before his divorce & his ex-wife’s comments.

    But, as an actress who didn’t want to destroy her career, she confirmed it with a smile, a laugh, and praise & excuses for JW. Just enough diplomacy for those who wouldn’t have cared anyway to use her as a shield for him by saying “CC forgives him so nobody else can use it against him.” It makes me ragey when I think about how she was forced to defend him even as she confirmed he fired her for being pregnant.

    • lucy2 says:

      Definitely, I remember it happening at the time, and it was not good, but he probably already trashed her reputation, and she was trying to save her career.

      I will say that I am feeling like all this #MeToo and Times Up stuff might be making some progress? We’re seeing more and more women and victims of abuse speaking up, supporting each other, and some actual consequences for the perpetrators. It’s not enough, of course, there’s still so much abuse and sexism and racism, but looking at Charisma’s stance then and now, something has shifted.

      • sa says:

        I hope you’re right and that this is progress. But CC’s comment in her current statement about feeling responsibility to Ray Fisher for remaining private about her experience hurt my heart a little bit.

    • Nic919 says:

      I used to follow the forums at television without pity and they were discussing how Charisma was poorly treated back then. That said, I don’t think the true extent was revealed until now.

  12. Watson says:

    I’ve always loved charisma carpenter and was confused why she never got more famous. Now i know why. Joss whedon gave her the type of trauma that takes years to work through. And whatever he did to Michelle Trachtenberg …sounds like it’s illegal.

    Everyone needs to thank Ray Fisher for speaking out first and putting his ass on the line. Support his career because Hollywood would like to freeze it indefinitely.

    • Yonati says:

      CC has Fibromyalgia. She talked about it around 14, 15 years ago in Fibromyalgia Today magazine (which I used to write for)

      My husband and I went to a get-together thrown by NB’s parents about 20 years ago. They talked to us about his challenges and that, even back then, he’d been in rehab a couple of times.

    • Lucy2 says:

      For sure- Ray really risked everything to tell the truth. I’m glad others are publicly supporting him, and I hope hiring him.

      I also think Kai Cole, Whedon’s ex-wife, really kicked the door open as well with her public comments about their relationship.

  13. Pulplove says:

    I really liked Buffy and Angel back then and Cordelia became my favourite b/c Charisma managed to bring nuance, humour and likebility to this character.

    This isn’t the first time I’m appalled by what I’ve learned about Joss Whedon, still there’s a whole new level of disgusting to this. What did he do to Michelle? And just posing this question to a pregnant woman “Are you going to keep it?” Unbelievable! Then demanding her to come to work at 1 a. m.? Pitting ppl against each other, getting enjoyment out of demeaning ppl in front of others, playing mind and power games with subordinates? How sadistic is this PoS? How consensual were his “affairs”?

    I’ve always believed Ray Fisher right from the start and now, I so hope Whedon’s career will finally be over and that karma will be coming for him in a big way!

  14. Tiffany says:

    He did that to Charisma twice, once on Buffy and when she learned she was pregnant on Angel. Then to have her come back for a guest appearance, as a ghost after she only agreed to return if her character was not killed off. I remember being shocked and sadden at that twist when I watched it when it was a running series.

    And although she did not have to admit, I am glad that she did speak up about cooperation with the WB investigation after Fisher spoke up. Because WAY to many people were ‘whatabout’ and ‘I will wait until there is more’ when Fisher spoke about this.

  15. Veronica S. says:

    What a surprise – an abuser worming their way into a position where they can use it to pretend they’re a hero for a cause while simultaneously being disgusting. Depressing. I’m sorry all of them had to go through that.

  16. Granger says:

    My god, I hope the world is changing because all of these men who once ruled their fields/industries based on fear and intimidation need to GO. It brings back some awful memories, hearing stories like this. The things women put up with because we didn’t have any choice. I remember being regularly yelled at and berated by a male partner at the firm I worked for. Working for another man who played favourites among the team members, and if you were one of the favourites, he drew you into his confidence and talked sh** about the other employee behind their back; until you’d suddenly find yourself on the other end: he’d be cold and aloof with you, and warm and inclusive with someone else, and you knew YOU were the person he was talking sh** about. Another male boss who overtly hit on his female staff at pub nights, and made comments about our clothes or sex lives. We put up with it because it was a freaking man’s world and what could we do? “Ha ha, boys will be boys, he’s a bit of a letch so just remember not to sit next to him at the pub.” Argh, it makes me so mad.

  17. grabbyhands says:

    I’m so glad she finally was able to speak her truth about this and that she is getting so much support and sadly, so many similar stories from her female co-stars and other people he’s targeted.

    Pretty disappointed (but by no means surprised) and the radio silence from all but two of her male co-stars. Men continue to be trash. Really disappointed that Alyson Hanigan and Amy Ackerman have said nothing but I guess they are still really tight with JW.

    • Lil says:

      I caught Anthony Head in a live interview yesterday morning here in the UK and he was a little clumsy in his expression but it was a better, more reflective response than the usual ‘he was nice to me so I don’t believe it’ statement. I didn’t exactly expect David Boreanaz to be publicly supportive but the silence is disappointing all the same. We’ll probably all waste away waiting for men as a collective to do better but they have to do better.

      Michelle’s statement makes me feel sick. She was a kid.

    • Darla says:

      I think Charisma’s statement that he pitted them against each other, speaks volumes. Hannigan was definitely one who Whedon shined his sun upon. And he was obsessed with Acker, which came through loud and clear on the DVD commentaries. I remember thinking at the time that if I were his wife and heard those commentaries, I would have filed for divorce just based off those. Don’t take this to mean Acker may not have her own stories, she likely does. She is also likely in a complicated position.

      • H says:

        I stopped watching Angel because JW so favorite Acker. The show was called ANGEL, not bland white girl who can’t act. JW has cast Acker in many things since Angel. I didn’t know about Hannigan and I guess her husband Alexis through default.

    • lucy2 says:

      I’ll be curious to see if Alyson or Amy have any input. If they were his “favorites” it’s possible they were treated differently, as were the men. I’ll even give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe they weren’t aware of everything that happened. But I think one can express support for victims of abuse and stand with them, even if that wasn’t their own experience.

      • Maliksmama says:

        I was wondering if either one had said anything.

      • Christine says:

        Especially Amy. He very clearly worshiped her, and considered her the perfect woman, to the exclusion of every other female on his shows. I have a horrible feeling there is a story there that Amy has never found it in herself to share.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Don’t hold your breath about Boreanaz – he’s another one who has long had rumours of being as asshat to work with. Remember he was sued for sexual harassment on the set of Bones.

  18. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    I’m glad you are covering this story. I just finished rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and was going to start rewatching Angel soon. There were so many rumors about horrible behavior from Joss. Emma Cauflield Ford said she wanted her character killed in the series finale because she never wanted any opening for her character to come back. Charisma Carpenter only came back for one episode in season 5 of Angel because she was promised her character wouldn’t be killed off. She was. Sarah Michelle Geller was supposed to make an appearance in Season 5 of Angel but it never happened, which years later makes so much sense. The implication of what Michelle Trachtenberg went through is disgusting.

    • pottymouth pup says:

      I just finished re-binging both and the Cordy-Conner storyline and the remaining storylines reminded me that what he did to Carpenter was worse than I remembered. I kinda stopped watching (initial run) just catching on occasion after the Gina Torres storyline but do remember specifically tuning in for Carpenter’s return & being so disappointed that they killed Cordy off. At the time I thought she wanted Cordy to have an end which, if that had to happen, was a nice send off that made me cry. Knowing he did that to spite her just pisses me off more

      I always thought it odd that Benson didn’t return for that Buffy arc where the dead returned to mind F*ck folks & Azura Skye’s character was used as a proxy, now I know why. It also explains the death of Anya

  19. Amelie says:

    I didn’t watch Buffy when it was on the air and I never had interest in watching it when streaming came into existence. I finally feel vindicated in all my years of disinterest because I have zero intention of ever watching it now. I never jumped on the Joss Whedon bandwagon and he always came across as slightly… off in all interviews I saw of him, I couldn’t put my finger on it. Charisma’s statement is disturbing, especially the comment about Joss asking her if she would keep her baby. I can’t believe more people aren’t mentioning that. How disgusting and vile. It’s clear there is so much to Michelle Trachtenberg’s story that we may never know because it is clear she does not want to share the traumatic details. But the fact an underage costar (underage at the time) is backing her up is very telling. And the WB look like racists for firing Ray Fisher.

    As for Sarah Michelle Gellar, her statement wasn’t great. Yes, we are all stuck in a pandemic and we have been for almost a year, by this time we all have pandemic routines. She was the main star and just saying “I support you but won’t make any further statements” suggests there’s way more going on there. Was she part of the bullying and hostility? Did she turn a blind eye to Joss Wedon’s behavior? You think she would say something in support at least of Michelle Trachtenberg who supposedly couldn’t be allowed on set alone with Whedon. She was underage and played her younger sister. I dunno, as the main character on that show her statement needs to be more clear. What was she aware of? Was she also bullied and harassed by Whedon? I realize she doesn’t owe us anything but her vague statement only makes things worse IMO. She clearly didn’t have a publicist review that because as a publicist I would have told her that statement is awful.

    • Darla says:

      No, you have no understanding of the background, so don’t throw accusations against SMG around. The situation was much more complex than you evidence any grasp of. SMG suffered rumors of being difficult and cold for years. When she chose not to continue for season 8, Hannigan, who was very tight with Whedon, made sure it got around that she was “blindsided” by Gellar’s decision. And Gellar and Trachtenberg are extremely close in real life. Gellar didn’t bully anybody. Whedon marked her as “difficult” the kiss of death in that industry.

      • Emily says:

        Got it. It’s just her statement is so vague and not specific, it’s honestly more confusing to me than anything else.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I remember she pulled the same SJP bs when SMG didn’t want to continue with Buffy – in the last few seasons Buffy
        was becoming the Willow show esp with all the WTF Buffy plotlines (the Buffybot!!). Hannigan def had visions of herself being the star of that show – Willow had the better storylines.

        Same goes for Nicholas Brendon, he bitched and whined when Buffy ended and blamed it all on SMG.

      • Charfromdarock says:

        We have no idea what SMG experienced.

        She is supporting her fellow cast members. It’s a lot more than any of the men or producers of the show have done.

    • CTAYLOR says:

      SMG has said in interviews she would not work with Whedon again. It’s not a secret there were issues.

    • Winechampion says:

      Can we stop reacting to news like this with “Well *I* was never a fan!” So what? Does that mean something about you, and something else about people who WERE fans? I keep seeing comments from people smugly centering and congratulating themselves for not being fans, as if that’s in any way relevant to anything.

      • pottymouth pup says:

        thank you @Winechampion. I really don’t understand those, let alone feeling vindicated for not watching as if fans of the show enjoying the work done by the actresses who were victimized by him were somehow tacitly endorsing what they didn’t even know was going on behind the scenes

      • TOK says:

        Yes, same! Well put, @Winechampion and @pottymouth. The “I never liked his work” take plays into this dichotomy where “bad” people make “bad” art, and “good” people make “good” art. That is not how the world works.

      • Christine says:

        THANK YOU.

        If you weren’t alive or really aware then, you don’t know how revolutionary Buffy was, for girls. Just like Xena, which premiered before Buffy, but they shared some overlap, and Charmed, also overlap. It was the first time I saw a show that reflected STRONG WOMEN, and to find out decades later that the stars of these shows were tormented? Devestating.

      • Betsy says:

        Amelie was just sharing a comment, and if she centered herself in it, many commenters do in their comments.

    • Bunny says:

      SMG was supportive of her co-workers without being specific about her own issues with JW.

      She’s not required and should never be expected to dredge up issues that she may be unprepared to have publicly aired.

      Survivors of violence, threats, verbal abuse, and/or sexism aren’t always on the same page at the same time, and saying that they should be does all survivors a huge disservice.

  20. Grant says:

    Gosh, this is nuts. Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) was a GREAT character on both Buffy and Angel. She was very Alexis Rose-ian, she started as a vapid, sassy queen bee and evolved into a really three-dimensional character throughout Buffy. She was great on Angel and the two even had a blossoming romance that I was SO INTO… it enraged me to see how she was so unceremoniously dumped by Joss in the later seasons, all because she dared to get pregnant. Just vile and disgusting. CC is beautiful and talented and I really hope she gets more jobs moving forward.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I loved Cordy and her sass, esp when she and Buffy would cross paths.

    • Veronica S. says:

      She had a cameo role on S2 of Lucifer, and I remember being a little sad seeing her that her career didn’t go further after Buffy. Seems like we know the reason for that now.

  21. FancyHat says:

    As a long time Charisma and Angel fan, I am glad this is finally being discussed. Her treatment in season 4 was terrible and you could see it on the screen as Joss destroyed the character Cordelia.

    For years, there were rumors she got fired for being difficult which I am sure hurt her career tremendously.

  22. Beatz says:

    I loved both shows, but really dislike the seasons of Buffy after high school. He sexualized the female characters too much. It stopped being about solving mysteries and more drama and sex. It’s like once their characters were legal, are bets were off.

  23. Sarah says:

    Verrrrrry glad to see the stuff about Whedon being talked about it in the mainstream press. FINALLY. We’ve been talking about it in comment sections for years.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Over the years, I wondered if some of it was personality conflicts since it would seem every other person who worked with him had a decent story for those that didn’t. I figured he was probably an aggressive and demanding jerk at times and that was that (not great, but not particularly awful for what thrives in that industry). However, I think what’s emerged in the last five years or so has been pretty damning. Dude just seems…immensely shitty overall, and he’s gotten away with it because for a long time he had a particular niche that sold really well.

      • FF says:

        It’s not a “niche”. JW’s a third generation TV writer – he knows everyone embedded in the industry so he has a long reach and can just reach out to old friends and call in favours if he wants to pettily ruin someone’s career (which he likely has, several times).

        That’s exactly why the writers and producers around him aren’t saying anything: he is known to be petty, cruel, and hold grudges forever. If you ever listen to interviews with co-workers on his show, notice not only will they never say anything critical, they won’t say anything that could remotely come off as critical or even joke in that direction, it’s always praise and deference.

        If he wants someone off a show or production, it tends to happen

        I always think JW had it in for CC and the only one stopping that was David Greenwalt – who was the one behind moving her to Angel. It’s no surprise that the minute Greenwalt “left” at the end of S3, Cordy/CC had her worst treatment in S4.

        JW will be fine. Fisher, CC, and Momoa I will be watching to see how it goes after this.

  24. TheOriginalMia says:

    For someone who was a “feminist”, Joss’ treatment of Charisma in S4 Angel was gross and troubling. It was the first crack in his feminist shield. I never understood why Charisma didn’t file an EEOC complaint against him, but I see now she was just terrified and defeated by what he did to her. I never knew about Michelle and the edict that he wasn’t to be left alone with her. That’s disturbing has hell. I knew Joss had created a toxic work environment, pitting his favorites against other actors on the show, but never knew he was doing the things he did to people like Charisma & Michelle. I wonder about Emma Caufield. Always felt he didn’t like her.

  25. observing says:

    Has Alyson Hannigan said anything?

  26. Watson says:

    Has Nathan Fillion said anything?

    • Amelie says:

      I would be surprised if Nathan Fillion spoke up. He seems to worship Whedon because while Firefly only lasted one season I think it opened a lot of doors to him in the industry. So he probably feels he owes Whedon. He’s always talked about how much fun he had on the show and pretty sure he’d work for Whedon again.

      Also there were so many rumors of Nathan Fillion and his costar Stana Katic not getting along in the final years of Castle. I loved Castle and I and all the fans were blindsided when they announced Stana was leaving the show. Nathan put out a statement like “I wish her well in her future endeavors” but if you read between the lines it was clear whatever happened between them was not pretty. I don’t know if she was fired or if it was her choice but a few weeks later ABC cancelled Castle, which made me relieved because that show would not have worked without Stana. I am not accusing Nathan Fillion of anything and maybe Stana Katic was impossible on set, I dunno. But due to all that I doubt Nathan Fillion will speak up because people might dredge up the whole Castle situation and how they did Stana dirty with her character.

      • Lucy2 says:

        There seems to be a history of problems on Nathan Fillion shows, including his latest The Rookie. My opinion of him has greatly dimmed over the years.

        I kind of forgot firefly was Whedon tbh, I will be curious to see if anyone from that show speaks out. I can’t imagine things were very different on that set.

  27. Lizzythe2 says:

    I loved the Buffy and Angel shows. How terrible to know what these ladies were going through during this time. May they find the healing they need. 😢

  28. Jessica Cozzola says:

    Every single guy I have met who claims to be a feminist ends up being a major weirdo.

  29. Caela says:

    SMG effectively disowned Joss with her statement, saying she didn’t want to be associated with him. If you follow her you’d understand this is very strong for her, she is so private. For everyone jumping on her, she was victim of a toxic work environment too. It’s not up to the other cast members to speak up (although it’s nice). They might be dealing with their own trauma too.

    • MarcelMarcel says:

      Agreed! She doesn’t owe the public any information about her personal life or experiences. I loved how her statement protected her privacy while explicitly supporting Charisma and disowning Joss.
      Michelle clearly feels validated by her statement because she reposted with a caption supporting Michelle.
      If survivors want to speak then we need to listen. And we can’t just demand womxn disclose distressing stories that confirm with our new collective opinion on an abuser. It pissed me off when it was done to Jennifer Lawrence over Weinstein. And still frustrates me today. I want statements from investors, producers and networks. This is was an open secret and their financial support enabled him!

    • Christine says:

      Preach.

    • FF says:

      SMG was never going to defend JW, not only did they butt heads during Buffy’s run, she absolutely hated the S6 Spuffy storyline and felt humiliated by it – which he was fine with (and greenlit with Noxon).

      I also don’t doubt he made jabs about her weight at various points. He also was dismissive of FPJ when he tried to defend SMG.

      I’m pretty sure there’s no love lost there.

  30. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    God I’m glad this shit is getting real. Young people are seeing this, and while it’s long overdue and appreciated, they can’t know or understand a culture of suppression and oppression across industries that women have always endured. The sexual revolution in the 60s was great and all, but it didn’t touch liberation or justice or equality. It only introduced a conversation. And that conversation was widely ridiculed.

    Working women were harassed twenty-four hours a day. Women grocery shopping, picking kids up from school, at churches, at HOME, women everywhere were always the target of harassment and abuse. Since I was a teenager, I knew everyday that I’d be harassed somewhere by some man, young or old. It was always a fact. It’s time ladies. Dues have been overpaid and accruing massive amounts of interest. We. Are. Owed.

  31. Whatnow says:

    The question I have is who made the rule that he couldn’t be alone with Michelle?

    with all the power he had at that time over the rest of the cast how were they able to get this rule created?

    • ennie says:

      She was a minor then.

      • Whatnow says:

        I was thinking more along the lines that on most shows that have minors I don’t recall anything being said that they couldn’t be alone with their producer or director on set

        and I just figured something must have happened so bad somebody made up that rule and I wondered who it was and how they manage to get him to agree to it

  32. A.Key says:

    If everyone knew for decades why did nobody say anything?? If his wife had not made that statement would they have still kept silent?!

    • FF says:

      Because JW knows a ton of people in the industry, and can ruin careers in a roundabout way if he wants.

      This is exactly why most people stay quiet: they want to work again and not be blacklisted by some big name’s friends of friends.

      Hollywood is all about networking.

  33. Cirien says:

    See now I’m thinking about how Joss was fired from the Avengers franchise, for Age of Ultron allegedly not performing well at the box office, and creative differences with Feige, but I wonder if he behaved poorly on set.

    Mark and Chris Evans allegedly talked about how they were made to feel like naughty school children, with Joss screaming at them, and it’s clear that Joss has some sort of resentment/ feels some sort of way about actresses getting pregnant while working on his set (Scarlett was pregnant at the time of filming Age of Ultron , hence the blocking and hiding her behind the bar, and the heavy bathroom- which makes the line about Natasha feeling like a monster because she was forcibly sterilized, as a child)

    (Aside. His take on the Avengers using the Ultimates Run is the fucking worst- especially when you realize that *that* version of Steve Rogers, is a Jingotastic, racist, sexist dickhead and Hulk’s rampage- when he’s chasing Natasha- on the helicarrier is taken directly from the comic, only in the comics the Hulk is chasing Betty, because ummmm he wants to rape her. The scene in the film reads so differently when you realize that)

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