Joss Whedon has found himself in the center of controversy as of late, with recent allegations alleging that he created a toxic environment while working on reshoots for Warner Bros.’ Justice League. But in the past stories have also surfaced from his days working as the creator and head writer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now, one of that show’s stars, Charisma Carpenter, is accusing Whedon of "harassment" and on-set misconduct.
Charisma Carpenter worked closely with Joss Whedon, as she played the role of Cordelia Chase on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff, Angel. In a lengthy Twitter post, Carpenter says Whedon “abused his power” on more than one occasion and says it increased her “performance anxiety”:
Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers. The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer. It is with a beating, heavy heart that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively.
In the post, Carpenter goes on to allege that Whedon made “passive-aggressive threats” to fire her while they worked together. She also claims he called her “fat” in the presence of her castmates while she was pregnant. She describes him as being “mean and biting” and openly “disparaging about others,” among other things.
Within the various claims Charisma Carpenter makes against Joss Whedon, she recalls an instance in which Whedon allegedly “refused multiple calls” from Carpenter’s agents when she became pregnant. And when they did meet, the actress alleges that Whedon asked if she was “going to keep it.” Carpenter asserts that this led to her being fired from Angel.
The actress goes on to describe having to work long hours while she was pregnant on the show, which she says caused her to experience health issues. In the second part of her post, Charisma Carpenter mentions that she still “made excuses for” Whedon’s behavior despite the alleged “harassment.” But with the dawn of the Time’s Up Movement, she says she felt compelled to speak out.
At this time, representatives of Joss Whedon have not responded to Charisma Carpenter’s claims. The last public statement from the writer, director and producer was in regard to his departure from HBO’s The Nevers as showrunner.
Charisma Carpenter’s claims come on the heels of actor Ray Fisher’s allegations against Joss Whedon, who Fisher claims exhibited “gross” and “abusive” behavior on the set of Justice League. WarnerMedia eventually launched an investigation into the matter. In her post, Carpenter actually revealed that she participated in the investigation.
As mentioned, this is not the first time a Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum has made accusations against Whedon. Not too long ago, former stuntman Jeff Pruitt referred to Whedon as an “egomaniac” and alleged that the producer would later cost him career opportunities.
It remains to be seen how this story will develop, but CinemaBlend will keep you posted any updates as they arrive.