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

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

    On her twitter, TV's Cordelia Chase shared a lengthy detailed history of Joss Whedon's behavior on set that illuminates years of mixed reports over the details of both Charisma's role in Season 4 of "Angel" and subsequent departure from a show.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but it's quite possible that Joss is a POS who wore his feminism like a cloak of immunity from under which he could be a malign dickhead to women in his employ (he'd hardly be the first and probably not the worst such Male Feminist).
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  • #2
    I think he's just a dick. While I don't think he's as much a feminist as he claims, going by some of James' statements he's an equal opportunity jerk. It's not a women-only thing.

    I can't say as I'm too impressed with the vagueness of some of Charisma's comments. What did he say exactly in those meetings? A call at 1am is revenge and punitive? That's not an uncommon thing to get a quick call if something needs to be reshot last minute.

    Calling an actor fat is pretty uncalled for though.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
      I think he's just a dick. While I don't think he's as much a feminist as he claims, going by some of James' statements he's an equal opportunity jerk. It's not a women-only thing.
      I think that's probably closest to the truth. Most likely he has a lot of issues, and being a straight guy I don't doubt that some of them are geared towards women, but overall I don't feel like he was a lot more respectful to his male employees.

      Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
      I can't say as I'm too impressed with the vagueness of some of Charisma's comments. What did he say exactly in those meetings? A call at 1am is revenge and punitive? That's not an uncommon thing to get a quick call if something needs to be reshot last minute.
      While I really do feel for her and agree that Whedon was at best being very careless towards a pregnant woman (who'd had a previous miscarriage to top it off), I wish she didn't use so many buzz words and actually called a spade a spade. What does "weaponize her womanhood" mean here ? I'm not asking her to give a detailed transcript of all of their conversations, but it's hard to form one's opinion based on this.
      Imho, a lot of this is a mix of something that is just one of the many downsides of acting, and JW at best not going out of his way to make things easier for her (which is not great), and at worst going out of his way to make her uncomfortable (which is shitty).

      So overall I don't think he is this horrible misogynist, but I am pretty sure that he is a "feminist" so long as it makes him look good and doesn't demand anything from him.

      What a challenge, honesty
      What a struggle to learn to speak
      Who would've thought that pretending was easier

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cheese Slices View Post



        So overall I don't think he is this horrible misogynist, but I am pretty sure that he is a "feminist" so long as it makes him look good and doesn't demand anything from him.
        That's been my take for a long time. As long as he likes you. But the strength of your ideology is not tested by how you treat your friends, it's in how you treat your enemies.

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        • #5
          I have read the statement of CC on Twitter, and I think this adds some evidence to the ongoing rumor about CC being fired because she was pregnant. She goes on with some details about the way it did happen and reports more information on basically Joss Whedon being verbally abusive. I find this reliable, although you can never be completely sure. Anyway, it does not surprise me at the slightest. It was late 90s-early 00s: those were years where anyone in a power position in the showbusiness could do almost whatever he wished with no consequences. Since the James Marsters coming fprward about Joss pinning him against a wall, I guess it was a matter of time that other former cast members came forward with something similar, and I believe it will be not the last statement that we will see, specially now that Joss Whedons seems to be in a weak position. All this indicates that Joss Whedon was a mean, abusive and arrogant man in a power position, something that a lot of us suspected since the Kai Cole's statement.
          Last edited by Sandman; 10-02-21, 07:21 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

            That's been my take for a long time. As long as he likes you. But the strength of your ideology is not tested by how you treat your friends, it's in how you treat your enemies.
            agree on all points—

            would but add, with regard to
            the strength of one's ethics:

            it reveals itself in how one treats
            those over whom one has power....

            JW's, according to multiple accounts,
            faded repeatedly before those over
            whom he had power—in multifarious
            ways, repeatedly....


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            • #7
              TV Line has picked up on the story and Amber Benson has backed up Charisma about Buffy having a toxic work enviroment as well.

              https://tvline.com/2021/02/10/charis...e-allegations/

              Charisma Carpenter Details Buffy/ Angel Boss Joss Whedon's Allegedly 'Toxic' and 'Hostile' Misconduct: 'I Can No Longer Remain Silent'

              By Matt Webb Mitovich / February 10 2021



              Charisma Carpenter has detailed, like never before, the “toxic” and “hostile” abuse she allegedly suffered under Buffyverse auteur Joss Whedon, in a series of Instagram posts she penned in part to #StandWithRayFisher.

              https://www.instagram.com/p/CLHjMmghiA9/?hl=en

              Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in the superhero film Justice League, has accused Whedon of, among other things, “gross, abusive, unprofessional and completely unacceptable” behavior upon picking up the directing reins from Zack Snyder; the actor also claimed that DC president Geoff Johns “enabled” said conduct. WarnerMedia ordered an internal investigation conducted by an outside law firm that led to “remedial action” (if no specifically cited punitive actions).

              Carpenter has over the years alluded to and to some degree detailed her own experiences with Whedon (who created TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel, on both of which she played Cordelia Chase). But in the 830-word statement she issued on Wednesday morning — prompted by Fisher’s ongoing clash with Whedon and the Justice League team — she elaborated on her claims, including what she calls Whedon’s “history of being casually cruel,” his creation of “hostile and toxic work environments,” what the Angel showrunner allegedly said and did to her during her real-life pregnancy, and how she coped with it all, “at times, destructively.”

              Carpenter’s statement appears in full below; TVLine has reached out to reps for both Whedon and 20th Television (the studio behind Buffy and Angel) for comment.

              "For nearly two decades, I have held my tongue and even made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day.
              .
              Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers. The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer. It is with a beating, heavy heart that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively.
              .
              Last summer, when Ray Fisher publicly accused Joss of abusive and unprofessional behavior toward the cast and crew during reshoots on the Justice League set in 2017, it gutted me. Joss has a history of being casually cruel. He has created hostile and toxic work environments since his early career. I know because I experienced it first-hand. Repeatedly.
              .
              Like his ongoing, passive-aggressive threats to fire me, which wreaks havoc on a young actor’s self-esteem. And callously calling me ‘fat’ to colleagues when I was four months pregnant, weighing 126 lbs. He was mean and biting, disparaging about others openly, and often played favorites, putting people against one another to compete and vie for his attention and approval.
              .
              He called me in for a sit-down meeting to interrogate and berate me regarding a rosary tattoo I got to help me feel more spiritually grounded in an increasingly volatile work climate that affected me physically.
              .
              Joss intentionally refused multiple calls form my agents making it impossible to connect with him to tell him the news that I was pregnant. Finally, once Joss was apprised of the situation, he requested a meeting with me. In that closed-door meeting, he asked me 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 the following season once I gave birth.
              .
              At six months pregnant, I was asked to report to work at 1 am after my doctor recommended shortening my work hours. Our to long and physically demanding days and the emotional stress of having to defend my needs as a working pregnant woman, I began to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. It was clear to me that 1 am call was retaliatory.
              .
              Back then, I felt powerless and alone. With norther option, I swallowed the mistreatment and carried on. After all, I had a baby on the way, and I was the primary breadwinner of my growing family. Unfortunately, all this was happening during one of the most wonderful time in new motherhood. All that promise and joy sucked right out. And Joss was the vampire.
              .
              Despite the harassment, a part of me still sought his validation. I made excuses for his behavior and repressed my own pain. I have even stated publicly at conventions that I’d work with him again. Only recently, after years of therapy and a wake-up call from the Time’s Up movement, do I understand the complexities of this demoralized thinking. It is impossible to understand the psyche without enduring the abuse. Our society and industry vilify the victims and glorify the abusers for their accomplishments. The onus is on the abused with an expectation to accept and adapt to be employable. No accountability on the transgressor who sails on unscathed. Unrepentant. Remorseless.
              .
              These memories and more have weighed on my soul like bricks for nearly half of my life. I wish I said something sooner. I wish I had the composure and courage all those years ago. But I muted myself in shame and conditioned silence.
              .
              With tears welling, I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to Ray and others for remaining private about my experience with Joss and the suffering it has caused me. It is abundantly evident that Joss has persisted in his harmful actions, continuing to create wreckage in his wake. My hope now, by finally coming forward about these experiences, is to create space for the healing of others who I know have experienced similar serialized abused of power.
              .
              Recently, I participated in WarnerMedia’s Justice League investigation because I believe Ray to be a person of integrity who is telling the truth. His firing as Cyborg in The Flash was the last straw for me. Although I am not shocked, I am deeply pained by it. It troubles and saddens me that in 2021 professionals STILL have to choose between whistleblowing in the workplace and job security.
              .
              It has taken me so long to muster the courage to make this statement publicly. The gravity of it is not lost on me. As a single mother whose family’s livelihood is dependent on my craft, I’m scared. Despite my dear about its impact on my future, I can no longer remain silent. This is overdue and necessary. It is time.”"

              Amber Benson, who played Tara on Buffy, echoed Carpenter’s general sentiment, saying on Twitter, “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.”

              https://twitter.com/amber_benson/sta...55694098190337

              Again, TVLine has reached out to reps for both Whedon and 20th Television for comment.

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              • #8
                Amber Benson has come out and backed Charisma too
                lol BAF beat me too it.

                At the end of the day, there's been stories for years about Whedons behaviour but because people like his TV shows they ignored or dismissed them.
                Last edited by BtVS fan; 10-02-21, 06:36 PM.

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                • #9
                  Amber Benson's additional comments in her retweet:



                  The two text pieces that Charisma Carpenter tweeted:



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                  • #10
                    And Clare Kramer, although not coming forward with anything specific, but stating that she believes Amber Benson, Charisma Carpenter and Ray Fisher:
                    https://twitter.com/ClareKramer/stat...76708622467073

                    Like I suspected, we will see more of this briefly.
                    Last edited by Sandman; 10-02-21, 07:25 PM.

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                    • #11
                      At least she's giving details about what happened unlike Ray Fisher.

                      My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lostsoul666 View Post
                        At least she's giving details about what happened unlike Ray Fisher.
                        Fisher is on an NDA he can't give specifics

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BtVS fan View Post

                          Fisher is on an NDA he can't give specifics
                          NDA's don't cover criminal activity. So what ever Joss did wasn't a crime. Giving the "Metoo era" that we now live in Ray Fisher's vague statements could have meant anything.
                          My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

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                          • TimeTravellingBunny
                            TimeTravellingBunny commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I don't think anyone is saying he did anything criminal. Just that he's a dick, plays favorites, and treats people badly if they aren't one of his faves.

                          • Lostsoul666
                            Lostsoul666 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            My point is more about Ray's vague statements. If a NDA was preventing him from openly talking about what went on behide the scenes then he probably shouldn't have made a public statement.

                        • #14
                          SMG has posted on her Instagram
                          https://www.instagram.com/p/CLH4s_Wj..._web_copy_link

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                          • #15
                            Interestingly non-descript statement. Wonder when we see one from Alyson or Emma. I'd particularly be interested in thoughts from Kristine Sutherland.
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                            • #16
                              Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                              Interestingly non-descript statement. Wonder when we see one from Alyson or Emma. I'd particularly be interested in thoughts from Kristine Sutherland.
                              Alyson (and her husband) is one of Joss Whedons friends, I doubt she'll say anything.

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                              • #17
                                Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, and Alyson Hannigan seem to be Joss favorites, so it will be interesting to see what happens next.
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                                • #18
                                  Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                                  Interestingly non-descript statement. Wonder when we see one from Alyson or Emma. I'd particularly be interested in thoughts from Kristine Sutherland.
                                  Pretty much "No comment, but my lack of comment is not meant to undermine the comments of the accusers." About what you'd expect from her and as close as you can get to not getting involved.

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                                  • #19
                                    Wow. I literally just woke up, checked instagram, saw SMGs post, and then came on here and saw this. I haven't even had the chance to read everything yet so I won't comment until I have.

                                    But I thought I would post SMG's instagram comment directly;



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                                    • #20
                                      Joss seems to be burning all his bridges. He keeps "parting ways" with studios. The fact that it keeps happening tells me it's more his issues than the studios.' I'm fine with his retiring. After the Buffy/Angel/Firefly years, the quality of his work declined. The Avengers movies were fine, but his were the weakest of the films. His arrogance & pettiness have increasingly spilled out in his public persona.

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