Buffy Star Backs Up Ray Fisher on Joss Whedon Abuse Allegations; Others Confirm ‘Toxic Environment’
The controversy around Joss Whedon’s alleged problematic behaviors continue to make waves throughout geek fandom. The latest development with the ongoing Joss Whedon abuse allegations is that a long-suspected secret was confirmed. Ray Fisher made allegations about Joss Whedon in July 2020 about the director’s professionalism on the set of Justice League. Retracting his praise for the theatrical Justice League director, Fisher went on a crusade to hold Whedon accountable for his ‘gross’ and ‘unacceptable’ behavior. Now, who knew that months later, after seemingly fighting a losing battle, Fisher would find support for his claims from people who would know.
Actor Charisma Carpenter posted a lengthy statement about her treatment on two shows run by Whedon. Other actors either corroborated her statements or, at the very least, offered support to her. Carpenter, however, expressed her support for Ray Fisher in his ongoing quest to, in his words, show that “accountability is greater than entertainment.”
The Joss Whedon Abuse Allegations Seemingly Go Back Years
Image via Twentieth Century Fox.
Even though the recent barrage of allegations against Joss Whedon began in 2020, rumors about his behavior are decades-old. However, Fisher’s complaints kickstarted an examination of these past claims through a modern lens. Fisher offered strong (but vague) accusations against Warner Bros. executive Geoff Johns and current DC Films President, Walter Hamada, along with Whedon, After an investigation, things seemingly came to a standstill. No one admitted to any overt wrongdoing. Johns and others involved were no longer involved in the Snyder Cut of Justice League, releasing on HBO Max in March. Warner Bros. announced the investigation is over. Fisher still wants an apology, yet seems unlikely to get one.
Support Comes From An Unexpected Source
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 10, 2021
During the Warner Media investigation, Fisher claimed that many people were cooperating, providing testimony against Whedon. It was assumed that these were people involved with Justice League. But a surprise Tweet revealed that others were also involved, providing character testimony against Whedon, establishing a pattern of behavior.
Charisma Carpenter who worked with Whedon on Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel confirmed that she participated in the Warner Media investigation. Carpenter shared her own experiences of abuse at the hands of Whedon. The Joss Whedon allegations from Carpenter speak to a passive-aggressive pattern of emotional and mental abuse. Carpenter outlines her experiences in a lengthy statement, claiming they lead to her eventual termination. She wrote eloquently about dealing with this trauma in therapy, only recently feeling able to speak her truth. Carpenter even included the #IStandWithRayFisher hashtag in her tweet.
Other Actors Show Support to Carpenter and Fisher
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
Once Carpenter’s tweet was out, a barrage of additional support followed. Amber Benson, who played Tara in Buffy, backed up Carpenter. Benson confirms Carpenter’s take, including how the experience affected others, including herself. Surprisingly, she mentions the show was a ‘toxic environment,’ using language similar to the accusations made by Fisher about Whedon’s behavior on the Justice League set.
Along with Benson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, the star of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, showed her support for Carpenter as well. Gellar distanced herself from Whedon and showed support in general to survivors of abuse. She did not, however, specifically comment on Carpenter’s statement. Sharing Gellar’s post, Michelle Trachtenberg confirmed the same, adding ‘We know what he did’. In a separate post on her Instagram, Trachtenberg mentioned how she was a teenager at the time of Buffy’s production but referred to Whedon’s “not appropriate behavior.”
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Joss Whedon Abuse Allegations Have More Credibility Now
Image via Twentieth Century Fox.
All these personal revelations today provide a lot more credibility to Ray Fisher’s original claims. The sentiments shared by the Buffy actresses seemingly echo similar complaints. Neither the writer director nor his representatives offered any comment in response. Whedon is already in something of a self-imposed career exile, especially after he left the series he created for HBO Max. HBOMax’s parent company is WarnerMedia. As the creator of genre classics like Buffy, Angel, and Firefly to writing and directing the first two Avengers film, Whedon has left an indelible mark on pop culture. Yet, a different picture now emerges as those who’ve worked with him reveal that their experiences also left an indelible mark of a different kind.
Watch this space for more on this situation as it unfolds.
So what are your thoughts on these Joss Whedon abuse allegations? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image via Twentieth Century Fox.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.