Charisma Carpenter on Wednesday accused “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” Joss Whedon creator of “hostile and toxic” behavior on the sets of the late 90s and early 2000s WB television series.
In a long statement tweeted by the actress, who played Cordelia Chase in “Buffy” and her spin-off “Angel”, accused Whedon of “retaliatory” and “cruel” behavior while pregnant on the set of “Angel,” and said she supports “Justice League” star Ray Fisher’s claims against Whedon.
Carpenter also said she was part of WarnerMedia’s investigation into Whedon’s actions on the set of “Justice League,” following Fisher’s accusations of “rude, abusive, unprofessional” behavior against Whedon, who resumed shooting from the film when original director Zack Snyder had to exit due to family drama.
“Recently, I participated in the Warner-Media investigation into the Justice League because I believe Ray is a person of integrity who is telling the truth,” Carpenter wrote. “His firing as Cyborg in The Flash was the last straw for me. Although I am not shocked, I am deeply saddened by it. It bothers and saddens me that in 2021, professionals STILL have to choose between whistleblowing in the workplace and job security. “
WarnerMedia has launched an investigation into Fisher’s accusations, which was “conducted by an outside law firm and headed by a former federal judge” and in which “more than 80 people were interviewed”, according to the company.
“Last summer, Mr. Fisher was given the opportunity to reprise his role as Cyborg in ‘The Flash’,” WarnerMedia said in a Jan. 14 statement. “Given his statement that he will not be participating in any film associated with [DC Films president Walter Hamada], our production is progressing now.
Fisher tweeted her support for Carpenter, thanking her for bringing her own accusations against Whedon and thanking her for speaking out about her participation in the “Justice League” investigation.
“Charisma Carpenter is one of the bravest people I know”, Fisher wrote. “I am eternally grateful for his courage and for lending his voice to the Justice League investigation. Read its truth. Share its truth. Protect her at all costs. ‘It’s time.’ A> E.
Representatives for Whedon declined to comment on Wednesday, and spokespersons for WarnerMedia and 20th Television, the studio that produced “Buffy” and “Angel,” did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request.
Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” ran for seven seasons from 1997 to 2003, first on the late WB, then the late UPN. The David Boreanaz-directed spin-off “Buffy’s” “Angel” aired for five seasons on The WB from 1999 to 2004. Carpenter was part of the cast of “Buffy” during season 3 before moving on to “Angel” in which she played alongside Boreanaz during her fourth season.
Gellar posted a statement on Instagram hours after Carpenter’s Wednesday, saying she stood “alongside all abuse survivors and was proud of them for speaking out.”
Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Buffy’s sister Dawn, shared Gellar’s statement, writing: “Thanks @sarahmgellar for saying that. I am courageous enough now as a 35 year old woman…. To repost this. Because. It must. To be known. Like a teenager. With his inappropriate behavior …… ”
“The last. Comment I will make on this. Was. There was a rule. In saying. He is no longer allowed to be alone in a room with Michelle,” then updated Trachtenberg in his caption.
Amber Benson, who played Tara Maclay in “Buffy,” also stood behind Carpenter, Tweeter: “Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top. @AllCharisma telling the truth and I support it 100%. There was a lot of damage during this time and many of us are still dealing with it twenty years later. “
Actress Clare Kramer, who played villainous Glory in “Buffy,” also tweeted in support: “For what it’s worth, I believe and stand with @allcharisma, @ ray8fisher, @amber_benson and others who have the strength to present their truth. Much of this industry is in need of a reset.
Carpenter’s comments mark the most recent development of an ongoing dispute between Fisher and WarnerMedia that began last July, when the actor publicly accused Whedon of “rude, abusive, unprofessional” behavior on the set of “Justice League”. Fisher said Whedon’s behavior was activated by DC Entertainment president Geoff Johns and Jon Berg, former production co-president at Warner.
Last November, in the midst of the “Justice League” investigation, Whedon announced he was quitting his sci-fi drama “The Nevers,” an exciting project that was serially commissioned from WarnerMedia’s HBO in 2018. Two weeks later, WarnerMedia said it was over. investigation of Fisher’s charges and had taken unspecified “corrective action” against unidentified individuals.
In 2017, TheWrap ran a guest blog written by Whedon’s ex-wife Kai Cole, in which she called Whedon a “hypocrite preaching feminist ideals”.
See Carpenter’s statement in full below.
For almost two decades, I held my tongue and even apologized for certain events that still traumatize me today, ”Carpenter’s statement begins. “Joss Whedon abused his power many times while working together on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. While he found his misconduct funny, it only served to heighten my performance anxiety, rob me of my powers, and distance me from my peers. The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer.
Last summer, when Ray Fisher publicly accused Joss of abusive and unprofessional behavior towards cast and crew during the Justice League revivals in 2017, it drained me. Joss has a habit of being casually cruel. He has created hostile and toxic work environments since the start of his career. I know this because I have experienced it firsthand. Many times.
Like his continuous passive-aggressive threats to fire me, which wreak havoc on a young actor’s self-esteem. And harshly calling me “fat” to my colleagues when I was 4 months pregnant, weighing 126 pounds. He was mean and biting, openly denigrating others and often playing favorites, pitting people against each other to compete and compete for his attention and approval.
He called me for a meeting to question and berate me about a rosary tattoo I got to help me feel more grounded spiritually in an increasingly unstable work climate that m ‘affected physically.
Joss intentionally refused multiple calls from my agents, making it impossible to contact him to let him know that I was pregnant. Finally, once Joss was briefed on the situation, he requested a date with me. During this closed-door meeting, he asked me if I was going to “keep him” and manipulated my femininity and my faith against me. He started attacking my character, mocking my religious beliefs, accusing me of sabotaging the show, and then bluntly fired me the following season once I gave birth.
At six months pregnant, I was asked to report to work at 1 a.m. after my doctor recommended that I shorten my work hours. Due to long, physically demanding days and the emotional stress of having to advocate for my needs as a working pregnant woman, I began to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. It was clear to me that the 1:00 am call was a retaliatory measure.
At the time, I felt helpless and alone. With no other option, I swallowed the abuse and continued. After all, I had a baby on the way and was the main breadwinner in my growing family. Sadly, this was all happening during one of the most wonderful times of the new motherhood. All of that promise and joy has been sucked up. And Joss was the vampire.
Despite the harassment, part of me was still seeking validation. I apologized for his behavior and suppressed my own pain. I even said publicly at conventions that I would work with him again. It is only recently, after years of therapy and a revival of the Time’s Up movement, that I understand the complexities of this demoralized thinking. It is impossible to understand the psyche without being abused. Our society and our industry vilify the victims and glorify the abusers for their achievements. The onus is on victims of violence who expect them to accept and adapt in order to be employable. No responsibility on the transgressor who sails unscathed. Impenitent. Without remorse.
These memories and many more have weighed on my soul like bricks for almost half of my life. 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 conditioned silence.
With tears that flow. I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility towards Ray and the others for remaining private of my experience with Joss and the pain it caused me. It is quite evident that Joss persisted in his nefarious actions, continuing to create wreckage in his wake. My hope now, in finally exposing these experiences, is to create a space for the healing of other people who I know have experienced similar abuse of power in series.
Recently, I took part in Warner-Media’s Justice League investigation because I believe Ray is a person of integrity who is telling the truth. His firing as a Cyborg in The Flash was the last straw for me. Although I am not shocked, I am deeply saddened by it. It bothers and saddens me that in 2021, professionals STILL have to choose between whistleblowing in the workplace and job security.
It took me so long to find the courage to make this statement publicly. The seriousness of it is not lost on me. As a single mother whose family sustenance depends on my profession, I am afraid, Despite my fear of its impact on my future, I can no longer remain silent. It is late and necessary. It’s time.