This week’s Vulture article about Joss Whedon in New York Magazine has revisited some of his recent controversies.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Marvel’s The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron was among Whedon’s many credits, and he was widely regarded for his work as a writer and director.
A series of allegations of violence and mistreatment by performers and crew on his sets brought it all to a screeching halt. Until yet, he has not commented on these charges. At a period when men dominated the action and sci-fi genres, Whedon was hailed for inventing characters who appeared to be feminists on the surface.
In the past, his feminist sympathies were widely held by his admirers, but some who worked with him and his ex-wife Kai Cole throughout the years have spoken out to say otherwise.
Whedon’s conduct toward the actors and crew was described as “gross, nasty, and unprofessional” by Justice League star Ray Fisher in a statement released last year. Later, Buffy and Angel star Charisma Carpenter shared her story of being abused mentally and emotionally by Whedon.
Many others have spoken out about their experiences working with the filmmaker since then, including Gal Gadot and Michelle Trachtenberg. After he downplayed some of the claims and unfavorable encounters people claimed to have had with him and did not apologize, the director’s attempt to present his side of the story in the New York mag piece seemed to backfire.
In light of Whedon’s alleged body-shaming, uttering threats, and bullying, some people have changed how they view his prior work. You can read up on everything that has happened since the claims were made against Whedon.
Whedon’s Ex-Wife Kai Cole Has Spoken out About Him:
In August 2017, Kai Cole posted a guest blog for The Wrap titled “Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals'”. As she said, he had “secret affairs” while working on the Buffy set, and after the show finished he told her about other relationships he had with his actresses, colleagues, and acquaintances.
She claims Whedon used feminism to cover up his infidelities, and Cole ended their relationship in 2012. His mother had reared him as a feminist, therefore he was naturally attracted to women, he explained to me,” she wrote. “When I was running Buffy, I was surrounded by attractive, needy, and aggressive young ladies,” Cole said to her in a letter. It seemed as if I had an illness from Greek mythology.
It was as if the entire universe was sprawled out in front of me, and I couldn’t get my hands on any of it. In a statement at the time, Whedon’s representative stated the blog article contained “inaccuracies and misrepresentations.” “Out of worry for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife,” the director said at the time.
During his Vulture interview, he expressed his thoughts on the piece. “People exploited that cynically because my ex-wife made me a target,” he claimed. But people were aware of the awful things that I had done, so she put out a letter expressing those things and saying some incorrect things about me.”
On the set of Buffy, he also talked about his on-set sex. It “messes up the power dynamic” for him, he said. “I’m sorry,” he added. As a result, he stated, he had no choice but to have sex with the women. If he had turned down the opportunity to sleep with attractive ladies, he said, “I would have always [regretted] it.”
In Some of Whedon’s Projects, the Portrayal of Women Was Dubious:
For 20 years, he was applauded by many fans for portraying women as strong and courageous, which helped him acquire their admiration and respect at the beginning of his career. In the course of his career, he was also criticized for the manner he made his characters suffer and endure terrible hardships, such as being assaulted, in order to emerge “stronger.”
As soon as the details of what was going on behind the scenes of these concerts came to light, his reputation as an ally of women was tarnished. His 2009 show Dollhouse, starring Eliza Dushku, had several critics scratching their heads. “Actives” are women who have had their individuality erased so that they can be assigned to the wishes of affluent and powerful individuals at the Dollhouse, a hidden facility.
Actives’ memories were erased after each task, so they had no remembrance of what they had been made to do. After two seasons, the show was canceled. Additionally, Dushku wrote a lengthy Instagram post thanking Carpenter for sharing her experience in 2021.
With Avengers: Age of Ultron, Whedon was also accused of misogyny for Black Widow’s storyline. Immediately after that, Whedon took down his Twitter account entirely. Twitter has been “attacked by radical feminists” ever since he joined, he said in an interview with BuzzFeed, but the criticism didn’t disturb him.
As one feminist put it, “every kind of feminism is fighting every other kind… because god forbid they all come together and truly fight for the cause.” As recently as June 2017, the leaked 2006 Wonder Woman script that he created was widely derided for its poor depiction of the character. Following the controversy, Whedon admitted to Variety that he “went and reread the screenplay after hearing there was an outcry. My opinion is that it’s wonderful.”
Whedon’s Nemesis, Ray Fisher, Has Spoken out Against Him:
The role of Cyborg was played by actor Ray Fisher in both Justice League and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. On the set of Justice League, when he took over directing duties after Zack Snyder left the production after losing his daughter to suicide, Whedon’s aggressive behavior toward the actors and staff was evident.
It was “grotesque, nasty, unprofessional, and absolutely unacceptable” when Fisher wrote about Wheadon’s treatment of the Justice League cast and staff at the time. “In many ways, Geoff Johns and Jon Berg helped him.” In the end, “Accountability trumps all.” Announcing his departure from the show in January of 2021, Fisher stated that he will not be returning as Cyborg. On Walter Hamada, he called him “the most hazardous kind of facilitator,” and he said he’d never work with him again.
During the Justice League reshoots, Fisher told Forbes that “race was just one of the concerns with the reshoot process,” including the removal of Cyborg’s history and Fisher’s skin tone being digitally lightened. That wasn’t the only thing he had to say: “There were major blow-ups; threats; coercion; mocking; unsafe work conditions; belittling, and gaslighting like you would have never believed.”
When Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot spoke out against modifications to her character, Fisher alleged that Whedon slammed Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins in front of Whedon’s fans.
A Vulture interview with Whedon stated that he deleted Cyborg’s story from the picture because it “logically made no sense” and that he brightened everything, not just the actor’s skin. “We’re dealing about a poor actor in both meanings,” he said, calling the actor’s allegations “a malevolent force.” Joss Whedon got to direct an endgame, after all, Fisher tweeted in response.
“Instead of addressing all of the lies and buffoonery today—I will be commemorating the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” he wrote in a subsequent post. The work will resume tomorrow.
According to James Marsters, the Filmmaker Engaged in Sexual Activity with Him:
There were a number of stars who worked with Whedon on those programs that backed Fisher and shared their own memories of the filmmaker. It was reported that Whedon once backed actor James Marsters into a wall and was unhappy about how popular Marsters’ Spike character had grown among Buffy fans. In July 2020, Marsters appeared with Michael Rosenbaum on the Inside of You podcast to recount the story.
Even though he didn’t plan on being a love interest, “the audience responded that way,” he claimed. As for me, I can recall one day when he put me in front of the wall and said, ‘No matter how popular you are, you’re dead.'” Do you hear what I’m saying? Dead. Dead!’ That’s all I could think of to say, ‘Uh, man, it’s your football. OK.’” He claimed that the director never expressed regret.
During the first four seasons of Buffy, Sophia Crawford served as Gellar’s stunt double. Crawford admitted to Metro magazine in 2020 that she had been dating stunt coordinator Josh Pruitt throughout the previous two years. After being given an ultimatum by Whedon, she decided to walk away. ‘No one will ever hire you again after this,’ said Pruitt, quoting the director.
Cynthia Bergstrom, the costume designer for Buffy, has shared a story about a clothing disagreement between showrunner Joss Whedon and actress Sarah Michelle Gellar while filming the program. Bergstrom told Vulture that Sarah was “adamant” about it being a certain way. “She wanted a grandma-style outfit with a pleated skirt and a high collar. “He wanted it to be more seductive,” she said.
When Gellar insisted on trying more alternatives, Whedon allegedly lost his cool, hitting the costume designer in the process. Then, “I said to myself, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to get her dressed.'” As soon as he started digging his nails into my arm, I said, “You’re hurting me.” “I don’t believe it,” he said in response to the publication’s assertions. I’m sure I’d get irate, but I’ve never been violent with anyone.”
One of the stars of Angel, Charisma Carpenter, has spoken out about how she thought she was mistreated by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off series Angel in a lengthy interview. An official statement from Carpenter was posted on his Twitter account in February of 2021, in which he claimed that he had been “casually cruel” and had made “ongoing, passive-aggressive threats to terminate her” and had made “fat” comments in front of coworkers at four months pregnant.
While pregnant, Whedon “manipulatively weaponized” her womanhood and faith against her, according to her, and questioned if she would “keep it.” When she gave birth to her child, he suddenly sacked her off the show the following season since she was pregnant with his child.
They proceeded to Speak out On Behalf of The Buffy Cast and Crew:
Buffy co-stars like Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played the title role in Buffy, came out in favor of Carpenter. A comment by Gellar on Instagram in February 2021 stated, “I am glad to have my name connected with Buffy Summers, but I don’t want to be permanently associated with the name Joss Whedon.”
No additional statements will be made at this time, as I am more concerned with my family and my ability to survive a pandemic. “However, I am glad of all survivors of abuse for speaking up, and I stand with them.”
Benson’s character Tara Maclay on the show concurred with Carpenter, writing: “Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top. Because she is expressing the truth, @AllCharisma has my utmost respect and admiration. Many of us are still dealing with the effects of that time twenty years later.” “Casually brutal’ is a fantastic way to describe Joss,” wrote Firefly writer Jose Molina in response to their charges.
He found it amusing to be cruel to others. Making female writers cry in the middle of a note-taking session was particularly funny. One of his favorite stories to tell was the time he made an author cry twice in a single meeting. “I am here for you to listen and support you,” Carpenter’s Angel co-star David Boreanaz wrote on Twitter. Proud of your bravery,” he says.
Starting at the top, the toxic atmosphere in Buffy was a toxic one. Because she is expressing the truth, @AllCharisma has my utmost respect and admiration. Many of us are still dealing with the effects of that time twenty years later. #IStandWithCharismaCarpenter #IStandWithRayFisher
A day after Gellar posted the text message, Buffy’s little sister Dawn Summers (Michelle Trachtenberg) reposted it. She chimed in with her own story, claiming that Joss Whedon wasn’t permitted to be in the same room with her when they were filming. “Thank you for mentioning that, @sarahmgellar.
As a 35-year-old woman, I feel confident enough to take risks. Republishing. Because. This must be done. The actor, who was just 14 when she joined the cast, wrote: “It’s time to be recognized.” In my adolescence.” Not. Appropriate. Behavior. from him….. So here we are. They know. Exactly what Joss did This is the final word I have to say about it. Was. There was a rule that had to be adhered to at all times. Saying. Once again, he is not permitted to be alone with Michelle.”
Buffy set staffers have confirmed to Vulture that a similar restriction existed, but Whedon may not have been aware of it. In the article, Trachtenberg’s rule was established while the show was in its sixth season and Trachtenberg was 16 years old. Whedon is said to have locked the door and summoned her to his office for a meeting. After the meeting, an adult in Trachtenberg’s team came up with a rule that stated that the actress was “shaken,” but they refused to divulge any details about what happened during the discussion.
In a Recent Interview, Gal Gadot Talked About Her Friendship with Joss Whedon:
An anonymous source told the Hollywood Reporter that Joss Whedon threatened Gal Gadot’s career during the Justice League reshoots in 2017. Even when Gadot complained that the lines were inconsistent with her Wonder Woman character, Whedon reportedly pressed her to record them. In May 2021, Gadot verified the report.
He really threatened my career and stated if I did something, he would make my career terrible. That’s what I had with him.” The Hollywood Reporter cites Gadot’s comments in an interview with Israeli news station N12: “I handled it on the spot.
For Elle’s “Women in Hollywood” edition in November 2021, the actress spoke again about the matter and her feelings toward it. The director’s treatment of her on set left her “shocked” and she “was shaking trees as soon as it happened,” which prompted Warner Bros. to act swiftly. Warner Bros. executives, she asserted, had handled it.
She continued, “Going back to the sense of righteousness that I have… you’re dizzy because it was just uttered to you. I’m not the only one he’s saying this to; he’s saying it too many others. ” When Gadot asked Whedon how she might remove a sequence from the film, Whedon jokingly replied, “Tie him to the train track and do it over his dead body.”
Vulture quotes him as saying, “Then I was told that I had spoken about attaching her dead body to the railroad track.” In other words, I’m not a threat. Who is responsible for such an ingenious feat? She doesn’t speak English fluently, and I’m prone to using flowery jargon.” Despite her disapproval, she said, “I got it.” Carpenter responded to Whedon’s criticism of Gadot on Twitter by posting a text message in support of the actress.
In Early2022, the Extensive “New York” Profile Was Taken Down:
In an interview with Vulture, Whedon looked to be trying to clear his name after remaining mute for the most part following the allegations against him. Fans’ and former coworkers’ reactions indicate that the interview was a flop and re-focused attention on the charges. In an interview, he remarked, “I’m frightened of every word that comes out of my mouth.” He reportedly excused himself to the bathroom whenever a question made him uncomfortable.
However, even in the face of that dread, he chose to keep quiet about some facts and ideas, which led to a new round of backlash from Fisher, Carpenter, and Gadot. The profile also disclosed that the director checked into an addiction treatment facility in Florida for a month and that he had been in therapy for the last few years.
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Irving is the Chief Editor at the Landscape Insight. He lives just outside of New York. His writings have also been featured in some very famous magazines. When he isn’t reading the source material for a piece or decompressing with a comfort horror movie, Irving is usually somewhere in his car.