Actress Charisma Carpenter has accused Joss Whedon, creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” of being verbally abusive and creating a toxic work environment during her seven-year collaboration with the director.
Joining “Justice League” star Ray Fisher in speaking out against Whedon, Carpenter detailed his allegations Wednesday in a social media statement. She explained that she took part in a WarnerMedia investigation into Whedon, calling the famous director a “cruel flippancy.”
“These memories and many more have weighed on my soul like bricks for almost half of my life,” Carpenter said. “I would have liked to say something earlier. I wish I had the composure and the courage all those years ago. But I killed myself in shame and conditional silence.
Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and its spin-off “Angel”, said Whedon’s behavior triggered a “chronic physical condition that I still suffer from.” The actress alleged that Whedon made “continuous” threats to fire her, made fun of her for her religious beliefs and called her fat during her pregnancy.
She also accused Whedon of firing her from “Angel” once she gave birth, an unexpected character departure that fans have been speculating for years. She alleged that Whedon once asked her to go to bed at 1 a.m. while she was six months pregnant, despite her doctor’s recommendation, which triggered fake labor pains.
Carpenter said that while she was afraid to speak out against Whedon, she felt an “overwhelming sense of responsibility” towards Fisher speaking publicly.
“It is quite evident that Joss persisted in his nefarious actions, continuing to create wreckage in his wake,” Carpenter said. “My hope now, in finally getting the word out about these experiences, is to create a space for the healing of other people who I know have experienced similar abuses of power in series. “
Fisher shared Carpenter’s statement on her own social media, calling the actress “one of the bravest people I know.”
“I am forever grateful to him for his courage and for lending his voice to the Justice League investigation,” he wrote. “Read his truth. Share its truth.
Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played Buffy for seven years, said in an Instagram statement on Wednesday that she stood with “all abuse survivors” and was proud of them for speaking out. .
“While I’m proud to have associated my name with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be associated with Joss Whedon’s name forever,” Gellar wrote.
Michelle Trachtenberg, who joined the show in its fifth season as Buffy’s younger sister, posted Gellar’s statement on her own Instagram profile to thank the star for her statement.
Trachtenberg captioned the replay, noting that she’s “brave enough now” at the age of 35 to comment on the question of Whedon’s behavior. She was 15 when she started her role in the series.
“We know what he did,” Trachtenberg said in an Instagram story. “In the wings.”
Amber Benson, who was on the show for two seasons, also tweeted her support for Carpenter and said “Buffy” was a “toxic environment”.
“@AllCharisma is telling the truth and I support it 100%,” Benson said. “There has been a lot of damage during that time and many of us are still dealing with it twenty years later.”
Neither WarnerMedia nor Whedon immediately responded to an NBC News request for comment on Wednesday.
Fisher, who played Cyborg in the 2017 movie “Justice League,” accused Whedon of abusive and unprofessional behavior last year on social media. He also said two producers allowed Whedon, who was brought into the film for covers due to a family tragedy that forced original director Zac Snyder to step down from the project.
Sinner Forbes said in an interview in October that he would detail his accusations in more detail after the conclusion of a WarnerMedia investigation.
“The race was just one of the problems with the recovery process,” said Fisher. “There have been massive explosions, threats, coercion, taunts, dangerous working conditions, downgrades and gas fires like you wouldn’t believe.”
Representatives for Whedon have denied Fisher’s only accusation that he digitally altered the complexion of an “actor of color,” according to The Independent. Whedon has not made a statement or spoken publicly regarding the abusive work environment accusations.
Last month, Fisher said he was “removed” from the studio’s upcoming film, “The Flash,” because DC Films president Walter Hamada interfered with the investigation into his allegations.
“No one in any profession should have to talk to their employer to get allegations of abuse, racism and discrimination to the proper chain of command,” Fisher said in January. “And no one in any managerial position should attempt to dissuade those who wish to report such allegations from doing so.”
WarnerMedia has denied Fisher’s characterization of leaving “The Flash” in a statement to Variety. The company also denied that there was any obstacle to the Justice League investigation, which it said ended in December.
The company did not detail the results of the investigation but said “corrective action” had been taken, according to the hollywood reporter.
“Last summer, Mr. Fisher was given the opportunity to reprise his role as Cyborg in ‘The Flash’,” the statement said. “Based on his statement that he will not be appearing in any films associated with Mr. Hamada, our production is continuing now.”