Charisma Carpenter Has Accused Joss Whedon Of “Abuse Of Power” On The Set Of ‘Buffy’
Her 'Buffy' co-stars, including Sarah Michelle Geller, have rallied behind her.
Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, has accused series showrunner Joss Whedon of abusive behaviour on set, specifically while she was pregnant.
On Wednesday Carpenter tweeted and posted to Instagram a statement that alleges Whedon”abused his power on numerous occasions” creating a “hostile and toxic work environment” while she worked with him.
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 10, 2021
According to her statement, Whedon called her “fat” to colleagues when she was four months pregnant and weighed 126 pounds. Whedon also apparently refused to accept calls from Carpenter’s agent to discuss the pregnancy. When he did eventually acknowledge it, it was in a closed-door meeting in which he asked Carpenter if she was, “going to keep it.”
Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar, said she would not make further statements beyond saying, “I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.” She also said, “While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon.”
Sarah Michelle Gellar is standing with Charisma Carpenter and no longer wants to be associated with Joss Whedon pic.twitter.com/twhxKsRxwC
— Emma Kelly (@TooManyEmmas) February 10, 2021
Other Buffy actors, including Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Dawn Summers in the series, reposted Gellar’s statement to her Instagram, saying, “I am brave enough now as a 35-year-old woman… To repost this. Because. This must. Be known. As a teenager. With his not appropriate behaviour.”
Amber Benson, who played Tara Maclay in the series also tweeted her support, “Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top. @AllCharisma is speaking truth and I support her 100%. There was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it twenty-plus years later.”
Other incidents Carpenter alleges in her statement include Whedon berating her for a religious tattoo, repeatedly accusing her of sabotaging the show, and firing her once she had given birth. Carpenter explains that she also made a statement about Whedon’s abusive behaviour when she participated in Warner Media’s investigations into Justice League actor, Ray Fisher’s similarly upsetting accusations of Whedon’s unprofessional and abusive behaviour onset of the 2017 Justice League film.
Charisma Carpenter is one of the bravest people I know.
I am forever grateful for her courage and for her lending her voice to the Justice League investigation.
Read her truth.
Share her truth.
Protect her at all costs.
“It is time.”
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) February 10, 2021
Warner Media’s investigations into Whedon’s behaviour concluded in December 2020 resulted in unspecified, “remedial action.” While it’s unclear what precise “remedial action” took place, HBO announced Whedon’s exit as showrunner of series, The Nevers two-weeks prior in November 2020.
Carpenter concluded by saying, “My hope now, about finally coming forward about these experiences is to create space for the healing of others who I know have experienced similar serialized abuses of power.”