'Buffy' Star Charisma Carpenter Rips 'Tyrannical Narcissist' Joss Whedon For Cringey Interview
Almost a full year ago, Charisma Carpenter—from popular shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the spin-off Angel—came forward with allegations about director Joss Whedon being abusive on set.
Her comments were in support of allegations brought by actor Ray Fisher about Whedon's behavior on the set of the film Justice League.
Here's Carpenter's 2021 post.
Whedon finally broke his silence after others also spoke out about his behavior on TV and film sets.
The interview has people cringing.
He spoke with Lila Shapiro from Vulture about the comments from not only Carpenter but also Buffy costume designer Cynthia Bergstrom; Buffy writer Rebecca X; an unnamed high-level production team member from Buffy;cast members Michelle Trachtenberg, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Amber Benson; an anonymous Firefly writer and Justice League actors Gal Gadot and Ray Fisher.
Whedon, now 57, claimed he was "young" and not as "civilized" back during the Buffy days.
"I yelled, and sometimes you had to yell."
"This was a very young cast, and it was easy for everything to turn into a cocktail party.”
"He said he would never intentionally humiliate anyone."
“If I am upsetting somebody, it will be a problem for me.”
Costume designer Cynthia Bergstrom shared a moment the two argued about a costume choice. Whedon decided on the day of filming he wanted the character to be dressed sexier than originally designed, but Bergstrom said she was just hoping to get the actress dressed and on set.
According to Bergstrom the argument turned physical:
"He grabbed my arm and dug in his fingers until his fingernails imprinted the skin and I said, 'You’re hurting me'."
A Buffy production team member claimed Whedon did nothing to conceal his multiple affairs with subordinates.
At one point, a young actress came into the production team member's office and they began making out on the floor while the staffer was working.
“They would bang into my chair. How can you concentrate? It was gross."
"This happened more than once. These actions proved he had no respect for me and my work."
The quit the show even though they had no other job lined up.
Whedon denied both accusations, saying of Bergstrom:
"I don’t believe that."
“I know I would get angry, but I was never physical with people."
Regarding making out on the floor of a staffers office:
"That seems false. I don’t understand that story even a little bit.”
Carpenter also shared her experience of being called fat while she was pregnant.
Though Whedon denied this claim, Rebecca X, formerly known as Rebecca Rand Kirshner, had a similar experience of fatphobic comments from Whedon. X didn't call the behavior abusive but didn't think it was very nice either.
Whedon admitted to several affairs with actresses in their early twenties while working on Buffy and Angel. Eventually, this lead to a divorce.
Whedon's ex-wife said she has developed PTSD after the 15 years of deception.
In 2017, Whedon took over the directing role on Justice League after Zack Snyder had a family emergency. Whedon had a very different approach than Snyder which lead to conflict with several members of the cast. Actor Ray Fisher shared his frustrations publicly.
In the Shapiro interview, Whedon called Fisher "a malevolent force" and "a bad actor in both senses"—a quote published by Vulture in New York Magazine on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Fisher responded on Twitter.
Before I get started today, I want to thank you all for lifting and supporting EVERYONE that has been negatively affected by Joss Whedon.\n\nI was not the first to speak out about him, but I hope to be one of the last that has to.\n\nA>E— Ray Fisher (@Ray Fisher) 1642520832
Carpenter shared an Instagram post in solidarity with Fisher.
Whedon also had conflict with Gal Gadot who said he threatened her on the Justice League set.
He called it "misunderstandings" due to a language barrier during the Vulture interview.
“English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech.”
Gadot responded to Whedon's interview as well.
Carpenter shared a guide about survivorhood from abuse inThe Hollywood Reporter.
“I shared my experiences about my former boss, Joss Whedon, so that we may identify a very real problem that is still happening 20 years later."
“My open letter is not just trauma unpacking or dumping. It’s a wake-up call. And a call to action."
"It was written in a concerted effort to foster change.”
Many people found Whedon's interview to be avoidant of accountability.
People who are cruel and powerful tend to see themselves as victims. That\u2019s my takeaway.— Zak Penn (@Zak Penn) 1642489209
Whew, that Joss Whedon interview. A masterclass in avoiding responsibility for his mistakes.— Sarah Rappaport (@Sarah Rappaport) 1642446983
The fact that other adults on Buffy had to make a rule that Joss Whedon wasn\u2019t allowed to be in a room alone with then 16 year old Michelle Trachtenberg is a problem. Joss Whedon should not have gotten work after that.— Arakki Thottie (@Arakki Thottie) 1642443945
Joss Whedon took years to reflect and he\u2019s finally ready to tell his story: \u201cI had to do it. I was very very horny\u201d— Vinnie Mancuso (@Vinnie Mancuso) 1642447432
Everything you\u2019ve read or will probably read today about Joss Whedon and his racist and abusive behavior didn\u2019t just happen. \n\nProducers and execs like Geoff Johns, Toby Emmerich, and Jon Berg enabled Whedon\u2019s behavior. They are just as much to blame.\n#IStandWithRayFisher— Walt (@Walt) 1642434273
Wow. It should go without saying that #IStandWithRayFisher and every person Joss has abused and harmed with his toxic behavior.— Nadria\u2728\ud83d\udc51 (@Nadria\u2728\ud83d\udc51) 1642434309
Joss Whedon blaming Ray Fisher being cut on him being a \u201cbad actor\u201d might have worked if we hadn\u2019t already seen the Snyder Cut.— Danielle (@Danielle) 1642434490
Joss Whedon had nearly two years to get his story straight.\n\nHe\u2019s likely spent tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars on PR, crisis management, and coaching.\n\nAnd his response to the allegations is: \u201cThey all misunderstood and/or are out to get me\u2014also my mom is sexy\u201d ???— Ray Fisher (@Ray Fisher) 1642528239
If Whedon's interview with Shapiro was meant to rehabilitate his reputation, it doesn't seem to have done the trick.