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Joss Whedon: CANCELLED

Kaicie Boeglin

Opinions Editor

Photo via The WB

Recent evidence and statements from Buffy The Vampire Slayer co-stars enhance Ray Fisher's claims on director Joss Whedon. Ray Fisher called Joss Whedon out for being "gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable" back in late 2019. His claims came from belligerent disputes on the set of Justice League, however contracts kept him from speaking on exact situations and circumstances. This public accusation was followed by an investigation by WarnerMedia which concluded a lack of evidence.

The inconclusive Warner Brothers investigation riled Fisher's brain and he swore to never work with the W.B. again as of July 2020. Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase on Buffy is not bound by any live contracts and took to social media to support Fisher's claims with her own evidence. As of February 2021, other B.T.V.S. actors such as Elizah Dushku, Michelle Tractenberg, Amber Benson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Marsters and David Borenaz showed compassion and support for Carpenter's evidence.

Charisma Carpenter portrayed Cordelia on both Buffy and it's spinoff Angel, which is why many fans were disheartened when she vanished from the buffyverse. Carpenter took to Twitter with the hashtag #IStandWithRayFisher to speak her story after nearly two decades. "Joss has a history of being casually cruel. He has created a hostile and toxic work environment for years..." Carpenter's evidence paints a mental image of an actor's struggle and a young woman's emotional stress. Some of the evidence documented is Whedon's passive-aggressive threats to fire actors: calling Carpenter fat when she was four months pregnant weighing 126-pounds; Whedon publicly played favorites to have actors vie for his attention; Carpenter was berated about religion after getting a rosary tattoo; Whedon refused to accept Carpenters pregnancy and fired her when she gave birth.

Buffy and Angel fans were distraught and urged Carpenter's co-stars to verify her claims. First to show support was Eliza Dushku who played the slayer Faith. Carpenter's tweet resonated with her past co-stars to the point where they too shared evidence of Whedon's cruelty. Sarah Michelle Gellar who played Buffy took to Instagram stating that she loves her name forever branded with the show, but refuses to have her name associated with Joss Whedon. Replying to Gellar, Michelle Trachtenberg who played Dawn stated that after an incident her and Whedon were to never be in a room alone together. Trachtenberg also states that even now as a 35-year-old woman, the toxicity Whedon presented on Buffy wasn't something able to be talked of unless someone else brought it up first. Age gave privilege when it came to Whedon and Trachtenberg was the youngest actress. Whedon was deemed an egomaniac on the set of Buffy because he wouldn't let stunt coordinators Jeff Pruitt and Sophia Crawford date. Their relationship started prior to the show but Whedon threatened to fire both of them if the relationship continued. Both willingly left after Whedon told them he would see to it no one else would hire them again.

Ray Fisher has movie deals on a continuum and is under contract. This prevents him from giving specific examples. Charisma Carpenter was able to speak out with specific examples and evidence of Whedon's Cruelty because she is free from contract restrictions. Allegations to Whedon's hypocrisy and egotism is first documented by his ex-wife Kai Cole who claims "Joss Whedon Is a hypocrite preaching feminist ideals." Cole was the one who urged Whedon to produce Buffy as a show after the movie dismantled his original vision. Cole also gave many of the shows ideas in which Whedon took all the credit for.

Due to all the recent accusations against Whedon he has lost a show with HBO max. Whedon will not comment on any of the accusations and his publicist refuses to take part in the controversy. Carpenter’s account of her time with Whedon explains her character's disappearance fans have wondered about for years. The support and traction gained from Carpenter's story has truly outlined the reasons Joss Whedon should be cancelled.


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