Several cast members of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, including Sarah Michelle Gellar and Michelle Trachtenberg, have gone to bat for Charisma Carpenter amid her allegations of misconduct against the series creator, Joss Whedon, on the set of Buffy, and the spin-off Angel.
On Wednesday (Feb 10), Carpenter, 50, posted a lengthy statement on Twitter alleging that Whedon, 56, “abused his power” during the series which ran from 1997 and 2003.
“Like his ongoing, passive-aggressive threats to fire me, which wreaks havoc on a young actor’s self-esteem. And callously calling me ‘fat’ to colleagues when I was four months pregnant, weighing 126 lbs (58kg),” wrote Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase on Buffy and Angel.
“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. He called me in for a sit-down meeting to interrogate and berate me regarding a rosary tattoo I got to help me feel more spiritually grounded in an increasingly volatile work climate that affected me physically.”
Charisma also claimed that Whedon “refused multiple calls from my agents making it impossible to connect with him to tell him the news that I was pregnant.” When she did, Whedon requested a meeting and then allegedly “asked me if I was ‘going to keep it’ and manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me.”
Carpenter’s pregnancy was incorporated into the show, but after the actor gave birth, she said she was fired. Post-Angel, she felt “powerless and alone,” especially as the “primary breadwinner” for her family. “Unfortunately, all this was happening during one of the most wonderful time[s] in new motherhood,” she explained. “All that promise and joy sucked right out. And Joss was the vampire.”
After Carpenter posted her statement, Sarah Michelle Gellar, 43, responded on Instagram, writing “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,
“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 I’m proud of them for speaking out.”
Elsewhere, Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Buffy’s younger sister, Dawn Summers, reposted Gellar’s statement on her own Instagram account. “Thank you @sarahmgellar for saying this,” she commented. “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."
Amber Benson, 44, who portrayed Tara, the girlfriend of wiccan Willow (Alyson Hannigan), reposted Carpenter’s message, adding, “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
Carpenter’s allegations were posted with the hashtag #StandWithRayFisher, referencing Ray Fisher, the actor who spoke out against Whedon after working with him on the Justice League reshoots. He accused the director of “gross, abusive, unprofessional and completely unacceptable” behaviour.
Fisher’s allegations in July led to an investigation by WarnerMedia, which Carpenter said she was part of.
Fisher, who played Cyborg in the DC movie, expressed support for Carpenter on Twitter.
“Charisma Carpenter is one of the bravest people I know," he wrote. "I am forever grateful for her courage and for her lending her voice to the Justice League investigation. Read her truth. Share her truth."
Charisma Carpenter is one of the bravest people I know.— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) February 10, 2021
I am forever grateful for her courage and for her lending her voice to the Justice League investigation.
Read her truth.
Share her truth.
Protect her at all costs.
“It is time.”
At the time of the writing, Whedon has not yet responded to the claims.
Photos: TPG News/C.lick Photos