While Buffy the Vampire Slayer will likely continue to stay in the TV history books as one of the best series to ever exist, its creator's legacy has certainly been tarnished as of late. The alleged on-set behavior of Joss Whedon, who was also head writer on the fantasy hit, has now been called out by star Charisma Carpenter, with Sarah Michelle Gellar and several others standing by her, in the wake of similar disturbing claims by Justice League star Ray Fisher. Now, fellow Buffy and Angel actress Eliza Dushku has joined those who've offered emotional support to Carpenter after her Whedon claims.
It was just a couple of days ago that Charisma Carpenter, who was a major part of both Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff, Angel, with her role of Cordelia Chase, came forward with her supposed account of how she was treated by the writer / producer, especially while pregnant on the latter series. Carpenter claims that Whedon "abused his power on numerous occasions" during her time on both sets, and now yet another star who worked with him on each series has come forward to support Carpenter. Here's what Eliza Dushku, who played vampire slayer Faith in the franchise, had to say on Instagram:
CC, my heart aches for you & I’m so sorry you have held this for so long. Your post was powerful, painful, and painted a picture we'll collectively never un-see or un-know. Thank you. I hadn't known it and I won't forget it.
I frequently think of the saying, ‘we are as sick as our secrets.' Our secrets indeed make and keep us sick. What I’m learning more and more — and have personally found most valuable — is that profound healing can only come from naming and disclosing what actually happened, the necessary first step (once someone’s ready) to freeing ourselves from our secrets, untold truths which have kept us isolated, ashamed, and held hostage.
Neglecting to 'name' the power/gender/sexual/racial abuse epidemic in the entertainment industry (and for that matter society in general), enables the abusers and only emboldens and ultimately fortifies abusive systems.
Even though Eliza Dushku admitted in her post that she hadn't know anything about what Charisma Carpenter reportedly went through while working with Joss Whedon, it's obvious that Dushku supports Carpenter's decision to come forward with what she alleges are the specifics of what happened on Buffy and Angel. Unfortunately, these kind of alleged abuses are something that Dushku knows about personally.
Two bombshells dropped about the actress' time on separate projects in 2018. In January of that year, Dushku herself came forward with allegations that, while she was working on the Arnold Schwarzenegger hit True Lies at 12 years old, she was molested by the movie's stunt coordinator, Joel Kramer. Then, in December of the same year, it was revealed (due to an investigation into former CBS chief Les Moonves and the overall "cultural issues at all levels of CBS") that Dushku was given a $9.5 million settlement by CBS after complaining about the on-set behavior of Bull star Michael Weatherly while she worked on the series, and then being fired.
Eliza Dushku wrapped her Instagram post by saying that it was her hope that others like Charisma Carpenter and Ray Fisher "feel the solidarity and connection you have likely missed for too long," because of being afraid to tell their stories, adding:
From courage, come change and hope. It starts and will end because of courageous truth-tellers like you. I admire, respect, and love you.
Hopefully, Eliza Dushku is correct, and more people coming forward with alleged abuse will, indeed, lead to profound changes where needed.