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Charisma Carpenter recounts stories of verbal abuse and harassment by Joss Whedon

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  • Originally posted by iwhale View Post

    Angel on his own show displays some more aggressive tendencies like towards Merv and his treatment of Riley and Lindsey. It's chicken and the egg. Did Angel take on those characteristics because of DB or was it in the cards from the start. There was definitely intermingling of character and actor. Joss has admitted to this and so has Marti. I think there's a chance that Joss had a bit of resentment toward DB/Angel the same way he did Spike/James later.
    Yes, it's definitely complicated, especially since Angel, from what I understand, was more David Greenwalt's creation than Whedon's, and his characterization varies a lot depending on who's stirring the wheel at the moment, I'd argue more so than any other character.
    As for the Spike/James thing, are you referring to something specifically ? I know there was a lot of discussion about Joss being frustrated with the audience's reaction to the character in S2, but I didn't know there was something later on.


    I should've made it more clear, but when I talk about depowering Angel during his sex scenes I was talking about the many moments he has sex without giving consent. Angel rarely has sex on his own terms (I think there are just 4 moments: Suprise, IWRY, Reprise and Power Play). All the other sex scenes with Angel are moments where he has no proper say in the matter. He is either under a spell or another entity takes over his body in these cases. And then there are the extremely disturbing 'dreams' in Ats s2 in which he has sex with Darla. No idea what happened there, but it's clear he had no idea Darla was actually in his dreams.
    I'll admit that my memory of Ats is fuzzy at best so I'll definitely take your word for it. Was it also the case with Nina (the other one ) in S5 ?
    What a challenge, honesty
    What a struggle to learn to speak
    Who would've thought that pretending was easier

    Comment


    • Nina
      Nina commented
      Editing a comment
      The scene with Nina was in PowerPlay which was together with the one in IWRY the only normal happy sex Angel had in all 8 seasons he was in. The inclusion of that scene was a bit random, but it was nice to see it for once.

  • Originally posted by Cheese Slices View Post

    Yes, it's definitely complicated, especially since Angel, from what I understand, was more David Greenwalt's creation than Whedon's, and his characterization varies a lot depending on who's stirring the wheel at the moment, I'd argue more so than any other character.
    As for the Spike/James thing, are you referring to something specifically ? I know there was a lot of discussion about Joss being frustrated with the audience's reaction to the character in S2, but I didn't know there was something later on.




    I'll admit that my memory of Ats is fuzzy at best so I'll definitely take your word for it. Was it also the case with Nina (the other one ) in S5 ?
    I'm referring to James' story about Joss shoving him over it. I don't think Joss was frustrated with Spike in S2. He liked him himself.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by iwhale View Post

      I'm referring to James' story about Joss shoving him over it. I don't think Joss was frustrated with Spike in S2. He liked him himself.
      Not true. That shove against the Wall story was from S2 James has said. He also said Joss would say he wasn't making the Spike show.

      Comment


      • Look, much as I love JM, he does have a tendency to 'embellish' his stories, so take what he says with a pinch of salt sometimes. That story down the years went from just a snarky conversation to being pushed. I personally doubt it was the latter.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post

          Not true. That shove against the Wall story was from S2 James has said. He also said Joss would say he wasn't making the Spike show.
          Yeah, that's what I remember.

          Also, to be fair, JM's exact words were "backed me up against the wall", so there might not have been an actual physical shove.
          What a challenge, honesty
          What a struggle to learn to speak
          Who would've thought that pretending was easier

          Comment


          • And see, thats how rumours start. Unless somebody was actually there you can't say with authority what was said or done imo.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Silver1 View Post
              Look, much as I love JM, he does have a tendency to 'embellish' his stories, so take what he says with a pinch of salt sometimes. That story down the years went from just a snarky conversation to being pushed. I personally doubt it was the latter.
              I'm inclined to agree. He couldn't have been that annoyed given that he did indeed keep him alive, brought him back and made him the male lead even though he more or less had free reign. I can see him being bothered by Spike's continued popularity in S6.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by iwhale View Post

                I'm inclined to agree. He couldn't have been that annoyed given that he did indeed keep him alive, brought him back and made him the male lead even though he more or less had free reign. I can see him being bothered by Spike's continued popularity in S6.

                It wasn't quite that simple. He was back as a 1 episode guest character in S3 and that was originally meant to be both Spike and Dru together but JL couldn't make it. That episode apparently got him the regular spot but even then he was brought in as just the Cordelia replacement. In S4 and early S5 even he basically does what even Whedon said was borrow a cup of coffee and insult you.
                Until Fool For Love he's not really given much depth at all as a character, while his plot armour of trying to kill Buffy and Co and Buffy not staking him was getting ridiculous.
                Now I remember even James in interviews as it was airing at the time saying hed been asking to go Angel and be the villain there.

                His relationship with Buffy was pretty much 1 sided until the kiss in Intervention. They just used lots of dream sequences/body switches or spells etc to play with the excellent chemistry the 2 leads had but without Buffy actually dating him for real.
                With each writer having a different take on how to do it. Ie Creepy Stalker or Love lorne, it would change from writer to writer on the episode.
                Even then after getting them together it was essentially the same story in S5 and 6/7 . Spike is in love with Buffy, she doesn't reciprocate. He does something awful to try and get her and fails. She eventually learns to forgive him and he learns to accept that she doesn't love him.

                Then you've got him going over to Angel because of his popularity but with the issue of not wanting him to outshine Angel on his own show. Fury even admitted as much.
                He was upset when Whedon called him Angel's great enganue (on the Angel S5 DVD) . JM felt that was Hollywood speak for being called a pretty boy.

                Comment


                • Yes, as much as I'm inclined to believe that Whedon has issues, James did specify in that interview that Joss was flexible enough that he took the character and made him complex and interesting. The crux of the whole thing I guess is whether he should have taken it out on the actor and to what extent it could be considered abuse. JM doesn't seem to think that it was, but the way the story has been spun says otherwise. Imo it seems hardly the worst thing Whedon's ever done, but it does seem to indicate that he often had weird, more or less justifiable outbursts that would make everyone walk on eggshells around him.

                  Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post


                  It wasn't quite that simple. He was back as a 1 episode guest character in S3 and that was originally meant to be both Spike and Dru together but JL couldn't make it. That episode apparently got him the regular spot but even then he was brought in as just the Cordelia replacement. In S4 and early S5 even he basically does what even Whedon said was borrow a cup of coffee and insult you.
                  Until Fool For Love he's not really given much depth at all as a character, while his plot armour of trying to kill Buffy and Co and Buffy not staking him was getting ridiculous.
                  Now I remember even James in interviews as it was airing at the time saying hed been asking to go Angel and be the villain there.

                  His relationship with Buffy was pretty much 1 sided until the kiss in Intervention. They just used lots of dream sequences/body switches or spells etc to play with the excellent chemistry the 2 leads had but without Buffy actually dating him for real.
                  With each writer having a different take on how to do it. Ie Creepy Stalker or Love lorne, it would change from writer to writer on the episode.
                  Even then after getting them together it was essentially the same story in S5 and 6/7 . Spike is in love with Buffy, she doesn't reciprocate. He does something awful to try and get her and fails. She eventually learns to forgive him and he learns to accept that she doesn't love him.

                  Then you've got him going over to Angel because of his popularity but with the issue of not wanting him to outshine Angel on his own show. Fury even admitted as much.
                  He was upset when Whedon called him Angel's great enganue (on the Angel S5 DVD) . JM felt that was Hollywood speak for being called a pretty boy.
                  Those are also good points. I think sometimes we need to remind ourselves that what we feel is true while watching the show isn't necessarily what the actors (or writer's) felt at the time. It's possible for us to think that Spike had great material and for JM to recognize he had great material (which afaik, he does), while simultaneously feeling like a guinea pig for the writers that served whatever purpose or experiment they wanted. I think it's a testament to both Marsters' acting and the writers' talent (with some unintentional brilliance here and there) that the character worked as well as he did.
                  Last edited by Cheese Slices; 22-02-21, 01:47 PM.
                  What a challenge, honesty
                  What a struggle to learn to speak
                  Who would've thought that pretending was easier

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post


                    It wasn't quite that simple. He was back as a 1 episode guest character in S3 and that was originally meant to be both Spike and Dru together but JL couldn't make it. That episode apparently got him the regular spot but even then he was brought in as just the Cordelia replacement. In S4 and early S5 even he basically does what even Whedon said was borrow a cup of coffee and insult you.
                    Until Fool For Love he's not really given much depth at all as a character, while his plot armour of trying to kill Buffy and Co and Buffy not staking him was getting ridiculous.
                    Now I remember even James in interviews as it was airing at the time saying hed been asking to go Angel and be the villain there.

                    His relationship with Buffy was pretty much 1 sided until the kiss in Intervention. They just used lots of dream sequences/body switches or spells etc to play with the excellent chemistry the 2 leads had but without Buffy actually dating him for real.
                    With each writer having a different take on how to do it. Ie Creepy Stalker or Love lorne, it would change from writer to writer on the episode.
                    Even then after getting them together it was essentially the same story in S5 and 6/7 . Spike is in love with Buffy, she doesn't reciprocate. He does something awful to try and get her and fails. She eventually learns to forgive him and he learns to accept that she doesn't love him.

                    Then you've got him going over to Angel because of his popularity but with the issue of not wanting him to outshine Angel on his own show. Fury even admitted as much.
                    He was upset when Whedon called him Angel's great enganue (on the Angel S5 DVD) . JM felt that was Hollywood speak for being called a pretty boy.
                    And absolutely none of that had to happen if Joss was so annoyed by Spike, his popularity and the romanticizing of the character. He didn't have to bring him back, he didn't have to have him fall in love with her, he didn't have to hook them up in S6 or have them dance around each other in S7. He could just as well have made him evil again.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by iwhale View Post

                      And absolutely none of that had to happen if Joss was so annoyed by Spike, his popularity and the romanticizing of the character. He didn't have to bring him back, he didn't have to have him fall in love with her, he didn't have to hook them up in S6 or have them dance around each other in S7. He could just as well have made him evil again.
                      No he didn't but some of us are glad he did.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Vampadvo View Post

                        No he didn't but some of us are glad he did.
                        It was not meant to be a complaint. I am only saying that if Joss had all these issues with Spike as a character from S2 on he had a strange way of showing it. I don't mean to turn it into a JM criticism session, but he speaks as if Spike was some alien force in the writers room, forcing them to do things against their will. He exists as they wrote him.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by iwhale View Post

                          It was not meant to be a complaint. I am only saying that if Joss had all these issues with Spike as a character from S2 on he had a strange way of showing it. I don't mean to turn it into a JM criticism session, but he speaks as if Spike was some alien force in the writers room, forcing them to do things against their will. He exists as they wrote him.
                          I don't think he has ever said this though. He made it clear that Joss' issues were mostly at the very beginning (and in maybe S4, because his character is pretty much jerked around for a good chunk of it), and that afterwards he found ways to make the character interesting and gave him a great arc, although they were making it up as they went, probably more than for the other main characters. I've read my fair share of interviews from JW, JM and the other writers, and nothing I've seen so far seem too contradictory.
                          What a challenge, honesty
                          What a struggle to learn to speak
                          Who would've thought that pretending was easier

                          Comment


                          • I remember back during the Angel After the Fall days that Joss didn't want Brian Lynch to use Cordelia at all in ATF. Brian would go against Joss and put Cordelia in issue 12 of ATF.
                            Spoiler:
                            In issue 12 of ATF a dying Angel is having an out of body experience, and Brian put Cordelia in the story to give Angel someone to talk to cause Brian felt that it would be weird to just have Angel talk to himself the whole issue.
                            My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

                            Comment


                            • Double Dutchess
                              Double Dutchess commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Huh, it never occurred to me to read anything into that, but now it does make you wonder.

                          • Variety has a big expose on the Joss situation.

                            https://variety.com/2021/tv/features...ce-1234915549/

                            Inside Joss Whedon’s ‘Cutting’ and ‘Toxic’ World of ‘Buffy’ and ‘Angel’ (EXCLUSIVE)

                            By Adam B. Vary, Elizabeth Wagmeister

                            Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was set at a California high school beset by vampires, demons and toxic mean girls, but it turns out its real-life big bad was the show’s creator, Joss Whedon.

                            Then in his early 30s, Whedon — who built “Buffy” into one of the most beloved and influential shows of the past 25 years and went on to write and direct 2012’s “The Avengers,” which launched the biggest movie franchise of all time — was heralded for his witty dialogue and wrenching plot twists. But he also scarred his cast of young actors with biting, inappropriate comments that stayed with them for decades.

                            Interviews that Variety conducted with 11 individuals who worked directly on “Buffy” or “Angel,” or were closely familiar with the productions during their runs on The WB and UPN, painted a portrait of Whedon as a talented, collaborative writer-producer with a pattern of inappropriate, imperious and disparaging behavior toward those who worked for him. Whedon created a “cult of personality” around himself, according to these sources. Those on the inside of Whedon’s circle basked in his attention, praise and friendship; those on the outside got the opposite: scorn, derision and callousness. (Everyone Variety spoke with did so on condition of anonymity, either so they could speak freely or out of concern for their careers.)

                            Variety also reached out to 40 other actors, writers, producers and directors from “Buffy” and “Angel” — including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amber Benson, Eliza Dushku, David Boreanaz and Alyson Hannigan — all of whom declined to participate in this story.

                            Whedon’s tenure on “Buffy” and “Angel” came under scrutiny on Feb. 10 after Charisma Carpenter, who played reformed mean girl Cordelia Chase for three seasons on “Buffy” and four seasons on its spinoff, “Angel,” posted a lengthy statement to social media in which she alleged that Whedon “abused his power on numerous occasions” with her while working on the shows. Carpenter called Whedon “casually cruel” and alleged that after Whedon learned she was pregnant while making “Angel,” he asked her in a closed-door meeting “if I was ‘going to keep it,’ and manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me. He proceeded to attack my character, mock my religious beliefs, accuse me of sabotaging the show, and then unceremoniously fired me following the season once I gave birth.”

                            A source who worked with Carpenter when she was on “Buffy” and “Angel” corroborated her story with Variety, saying that Carpenter would often discuss the mistreatment at the time, characterizing it as “very, very bad,” “mean-spirited” and “verbal abuse.”

                            Whedon declined to comment on Carpenter’s allegations when she first made them, and declined to comment when contacted by Variety for this story.



                            Carpenter’s post launched a domino effect of similar allegations against Whedon, establishing an apparent pattern of behavior on the shows. Neither Whedon nor his representatives have responded to any of the social media claims.

                            Numerous actors and writers from Whedon’s series “Buffy,” “Angel” and “Dollhouse” expressed their support for Carpenter on social media, including stars Gellar, Boreanaz and Dushku, and executive producer Marti Noxon. Benson, who played the shy Wiccan Tara on “Buffy” for three seasons, was one of the first to respond. She posted that the show was a “toxic environment and it starts from the top,” and that “there was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it twenty plus years later.” Nicholas Brendon, best known for playing the wisecracking Xander Harris on “Buffy” from 1997 to 2003, was awaiting spinal surgery when he weighed in from his hospital bed, sharing on Facebook that he had experienced “transgressions” with Whedon. “There’s a lot of kindness, but also a lot of not,” Brendon said.

                            The most troubling statement came from Trachtenberg, who played Buffy’s younger sister, Dawn, on three seasons of the show, starting when she was 15. In an Instagram post, Trachtenberg characterized Whedon’s behavior as “not appropriate.” In a later update to the caption, she alleged there was a “rule” on the set that Whedon was forbidden to be alone in a room with her.

                            While several high-placed sources who worked on “Buffy” say they were not aware of this rule, a person with direct knowledge of the production at the time confirms to Variety that an effort was made by those around Trachtenberg to ensure the young actor was never alone with Whedon. According to this person, it was due to an improper verbal exchange between Whedon and Trachtenberg.

                            A representative for Trachtenberg declined to comment.

                            No one doubts Whedon’s manifest talents as a storyteller, nor his commitment to centering complexly rendered women on his shows when few others were. But as the industry continues to reckon with entrenched power structures that have enabled — and normalized — rampant misconduct, it makes sense that the story of how Whedon treated those around him is resurfacing now.



                            “Buffy” and “Angel” aired in the late 1990s and early 2000s, long before the #MeToo movement, when the industry more freely abetted on-set misconduct in order to keep top talent happy and working. Hollywood still has a long way to go in ensuring safe and equitable workplaces, but what makes the allegations by the “Buffy” and “Angel” actors especially troubling is that they come on the heels of recent, mounting claims of misbehavior by Whedon. In July 2020, “Justice League” actor Ray Fisher alleged that Whedon acted in a “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” manner on the set of the 2017 superhero movie, comments that were publicly supported by Fisher’s A-list co-stars Gal Gadot (“Wonder Woman”) and Jason Momoa (“Aquaman”). In the middle of WarnerMedia’s investigation into Fisher’s claims, Whedon abruptly departed the sci-fi fantasy series “The Nevers,” which he created and executive produced for HBO. (WarnerMedia, which launched the “Justice League” investigation, is the parent company of HBO.)

                            Multiple high-placed sources say if there were any complaints about Whedon on the sets of “Buffy” or “Angel,” they never rose to the studio level or became an official matter with human resources. Nor did those who spoke with Variety have knowledge of any payouts or settlements regarding Whedon’s alleged behavior while “Buffy” was in production.

                            20th Television, the studio behind “Buffy” and “Angel,” declined to comment.

                            According to sources, after Whedon created “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in 1997, he was largely left alone, operating on a tight budget with little oversight, thanks to a steady stream of strong media buzz and rich key-demo ratings. The show shot at a relatively remote location on soundstages in Santa Monica where executives were not regularly roaming around, and the production operated much like an indie film. Insiders say the combination of Whedon’s lack of experience running a television show, the financial pressures of delivering an action-and-effects-heavy hourlong dramedy, a cast largely populated with young and eager actors, and the absence of regular supervision contributed to an environment ripe for a chaotic, highly competitive, toxic workplace. Many people who spoke with Variety described the set as operating like high school, with Whedon making everyone aware of who was in and who was out.

                            Another major factor contributing to the messy nature of the “Buffy” set: Stories of Whedon engaging in affairs with women working on the show quickly spread, according to three independent sources. As the executive producer and showrunner, Whedon was the boss, including of the women with whom he engaged in relationships. The alleged behavior contributed to a toxic workplace and heightened competition on set, blurring the lines between personal and professional demeanor for the cast — dynamics that continued long after Whedon’s purported affairs ended.

                            These sources echo allegations made by Whedon’s ex-wife, Kai Cole, who in August 2017 wrote in The Wrap that Whedon had engaged in multiple affairs with his actors and co-workers, starting when he was making “Buffy.” According to Cole, Whedon admitted the affairs to her in writing and wrote to her, “I was surrounded by beautiful, needy, aggressive young women. It felt like I had a disease, like something from a Greek myth. Suddenly I am a powerful producer and the world is laid out at my feet and I can’t touch it.” At the time, a spokesperson for Whedon said Cole’s account “includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations.”

                            “Buffy” and “Angel” had grueling schedules, shooting 22 episodes a season, often at night. Actors requiring elaborate makeup could end up clocking 21-hour days, and shoots sometimes did not wrap until 4 a.m. It was common for production on a Friday to bleed into Saturday morning, wiping out any chance for the cast and crew to enjoy a full weekend off. The practice even had a name: Fraterdays.

                            In that high-pressure production environment, the “Buffy” set was often aggressively adult, with inappropriate and cutting jokes flying behind the scenes. One source with detailed knowledge of the production recalls Trachtenberg’s mother expressing frustration because the set atmosphere was inappropriate for a young teenager.

                            Whedon was “both feared and idolized” by the actors on the show, says a person who was part of the team overseeing “Buffy” during its run. He could be fulsome with his attention with one of his favorites, and “sharp-tongued” when he was displeased.

                            For Carpenter, it appears, that dynamic started early. According to an individual who held a top position close to the show in its early years, Whedon was pushed by the network to cast Carpenter on “Buffy,” but he was never a big fan of her work. He’d frequently pick on her, and the source says some writers on the show, following Whedon’s lead, were openly dismissive of Carpenter’s acting skills. Two separate people in high positions related to the show recall internal complaints relating to Carpenter’s tardiness on set that led to production delays and contributed to a general sense of ill feeling for the actor, feelings Whedon weaponized into an environment in which Carpenter wasn’t treated with respect.

                            The person who worked closely with Carpenter while she starred on “Buffy” and “Angel” recalls the actor frequently describing Whedon as being “mean-spirited” and “verbally abusive” toward her, making it obvious to her that he had favorites — and she was not one of them. “That was his game,” this person says of Whedon. Playing favorites led to simmering animosity among the cast, according to multiple sources, both from the studio and the writers’ room.

                            One producer says the writers on “Buffy” enjoyed writing for Carpenter’s character. But, the source adds, the attitude around Carpenter grew more hostile after she moved over to “Angel,” where she was ultimately written off the show after her pregnancy.

                            A spokesperson for Carpenter declined to comment for this story.

                            Even Whedon’s top star apparently had difficulty with him. Two sources familiar with the production say that fairly early into the show’s run, Gellar had a severed relationship with Whedon, to the extent that she did not want his name spoken around her. That made for awkwardness on set. Although Whedon moved on from being the day-to-day showrunner on “Buffy” in 2001, he was still the overall executive producer, and was writing and directing episodes until the series ended in 2003.

                            After Carpenter’s allegations of Whedon’s cruelty, Gellar made a statement on Instagram that read, in part, “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.” She continued, “I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.”

                            A representative for Gellar did not respond to Variety‘s request for comment on this story.

                            A common refrain about Whedon is that his idea of a good joke entailed being biting and downright nasty. “It was not fun to be on the butt end of his humor,” says one source.

                            Nell Scovell, creator of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” experienced Whedon’s inappropriate humor early during “Buffy’s” run. In 1998, when she was pregnant and two weeks from her due date, she met with Whedon and “Buffy” executive producer David Greenwalt for a possible writing job. As Scovell relates in her 2018 memoir, “Buffy” was her favorite television show, so she took the meeting. She writes that Joss “took one look at me and said, ‘Boy, are you fat.’ I laughed so hard, I thought I was going to have the baby. David Greenwalt followed up by asking, ‘Should I put down a tarp?'” Scovell did not get the job. (Greenwalt did not respond to a request for comment.)

                            “‘Casually cruel’ is a perfect way of describing Joss,” Jose Molina, who was a writer on Whedon’s short-lived, much-loved sci-fi series “Firefly” in 2002 and 2003, posted on Twitter on Feb. 12. “He thought being mean was funny. Making female writers cry during a notes session was especially hysterical. He actually liked to boast about the time he made one writer cry twice in one meeting.”

                            Scovell and Molina both declined Variety‘s requests to comment further.

                            While those working under Whedon weathered his mercurial behavior, the powers that be above him viewed him as a collaborative employee — a charming producer who understood budgets and never complained about doing press to promote his shows. There is a general sense among those who spoke with Variety that Whedon knew how to “manage up,” and acted differently toward those he worked for versus those who worked for him. All of the sources were emphatic that they believe the women and men who have come forward.

                            The allegations against Whedon are especially troubling given his public persona as an outspoken feminist. “He created this girl-power character with Buffy Summers that women rallied around,” says a person who worked on “Buffy.” “Finally, we got to see a woman kicking ass. It was a great role model for women and girls. That was the space that he was proud to occupy and really pioneered. The idea that he had this darker side is creepy and upsetting — and hard to square with, given his work.”

                            When “The Avengers” debuted in 2012 with the highest opening weekend of all time, Whedon’s career hit its highest peak, and he began working with a new echelon of actors — Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo among them — whose clout far exceeded his own. After Whedon wrote and directed 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which was also a monster hit, Warner Bros. essentially poached him to make a Batgirl movie, then enlisted him to save what the studio believed to be the troubled production of its own superhero team-up movie, “Justice League.”

                            That was the beginning of a steep career downturn from which Whedon has never really recovered. He took the reins of “Justice League” from Zack Snyder, who, after effectively shooting most of the film, left the production due to creative differences with the studio and to cope with a family tragedy. Whedon reportedly rewrote and re-shot roughly 75% of Snyder’s work; the resulting film was panned by critics and underperformed (given its budget and marketing costs) at the box office, losing many millions for the studio. In Feb. 2018, he announced he was no longer making “Batgirl.”

                            Then, in the summer of 2020, Fisher’s allegations hit.

                            While Whedon has stayed quiet about what happened on “Justice League,” its stars have not. Gadot recently confirmed to Variety that she had been interviewed for the WarnerMedia investigation. In another interview with the Los Angeles Times, the “Wonder Woman” star said she endured her own “experience” with Whedon, which she said “wasn’t the best”; while she didn’t elaborate further, she said she brought the issue to high-ranking executives at the studio.

                            A representative for Gadot was not available for further comment.

                            In her post in February, Carpenter said she also spoke to the “Justice League” investigators and decided to finally come forward about her experiences with Whedon in order to support Fisher.

                            In December, WarnerMedia announced the investigation had concluded and that “remedial action has been taken.” A month earlier, Whedon announced he was leaving “The Nevers,” which is set to premiere in April without his involvement. Whedon cited the pressures of production during the pandemic as the reason for his departure; HBO executives have said “no complaints” were made about Whedon before his exit.

                            Fisher, however, claimed on social media that Whedon’s departure was “undoubtedly” due to the investigation.

                            WarnerMedia has not commented on the nature of the “remedial action,” and Fisher has not made the details of his allegations about Whedon’s on-set behavior public.

                            Whedon, meanwhile, has no announced projects. His agency, CAA, declined to comment.

                            To date, Whedon has said nothing about the proliferating allegations against him. Several people who spoke with Variety expressed a keen interest in how Whedon will respond. And more importantly, how those who have been hurt by him will heal.

                            Kate Aurthur and Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

                            https://www.ign.com/articles/buffy-a...fisher-support

                            Buffy Actress Alleges Joss Whedon Abuse and Unprofessional Behavior, Supports Ray Fisher

                            Charisma Carpenter accused Whedon of creating "hostile and toxic work environments."

                            By Adele Ankers
                            Update 02/26:

                            In a new report from Variety, 11 anonymous sources linked to the production of Buffy and Angel confirmed numerous allegations against Joss Whedon from the shows' cast.

                            A source who apparently worked with Charisma Carpenter said that picking cast favourites was Whedon's "game", and confirms that Carpenter felt that he was "mean-spirited" and "verbally abusive" during her time on the show. Allegedly Carpenter's character, Cordelia, was popular in the writers' room, but the attitude towards her grew hostile as the character moved over to Angel.

                            A further two sources claim Sarah Michelle Geller had a strained relationship with Whedon, and did not want his name to be spoken around her. Another commented on Michelle Trachtenberg's social media post that suggested she and Whedon could not be in a room alone with together, something those around her attempted to ensure following an improper verbal exchange between the two.

                            The sources paint Whedon as a man with a cruel sense of humour that he would use against those outside his "cult of personality." “It was not fun to be on the butt end of his humor,” one source said

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                            • I'm glad to read that his encounter with Trachtenberg was most likely verbal abuse. That can be scarring and scary as well of course, but it's not sexual abuse.

                              Reading all of it, it was a tragic environment to work in. Both the behaviour by the most powerful producers/writers and simply the working hours. I can't imagine how long AH's days must have been.

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                              • There appears to be some contradictions. Not major ones, but things that don't quite add up. Supposedly they started early with CC, yet they continued to expand her role even despite her massive handicap when it comes to abilities. I'm not sure how SMG not wanting Joss mentioned around her works with one of her complaints about the later years being he wasn't around set and couldn't be gotten hold of.

                                I don't see a whole lot of new information other than clarification that the rule was about a verbal exchange, not a physical one. The set of Buffy was very R-rated so I'm left to wonder what could have been said to lead to a rule being put in place. From the article it sounds like the rule was from her parent.

                                Given the current state of American media I have trouble believing unverified comments completely.

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                                • Josh
                                  Josh commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  SMG made those complaints regarding Season 6, I believe, when things got really depressing for her, so that checks for me.

                              • I can see more clearly now that the treatment Charisma got was less about her being pregnant and more about Whedon not liking any move she made.

                                CC's acting, though not always top notch, really balanced out the tone in Angel and her popularity was a key factor to making the show work. Cordelia's character development was crucial to the show even though Whedon 'hated' Charisma. Which can also explains the way they got rid of her, knowing they would have one of the main cast of Buffy on the show the following season.

                                All in all, I am glad this is coming out. One of the few questions that remain is when will JW respond, if ever.

                                Click for art and tomfooleries

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                                • Josh That is what I mean. During S6/S7 the complaints were he wasn't around. It doesn't translate to being so pissed at him to not want to hear his name.

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                                  • Originally posted by iwhale View Post
                                    Josh That is what I mean. During S6/S7 the complaints were he wasn't around. It doesn't translate to being so pissed at him to not want to hear his name.
                                    It's true that it feels a little odd. One might argue that she wanted his "professional" presence (ie she believed he could "get the show back on rails" and so wanted him around, but that seems a bit of a stretch. Her remark seems to indicate that they were cordial enough that she could discuss storylines with him and entertain the thought of swaying him, so that doesn't mesh with the idea of her not being able to even stand his name being pronounced.
                                    What a challenge, honesty
                                    What a struggle to learn to speak
                                    Who would've thought that pretending was easier

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