Hollywood's Joss Whedon has the reputation of creating strong female characters and championing feminist values, but his ex-wife has just delivered a stinging assault to that image. In a guest blog at the Wrap, Kai Cole alleges that Whedon cheated on her, a lot, going back 15 years to the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She quotes his own apologetic letters to her years after the fact in which he explains that he was "surrounded by beautiful, needy, aggressive young women" as he adjusted to his new role as a powerful Hollywood producer. "Despite understanding, on some level, that what he was doing was wrong, he never conceded the hypocrisy of being out in the world preaching feminist ideals, while at the same time, taking away my right to make choices for my life and my body based on the truth," writes Cole, an architect and producer.
When he finally 'fessed up, Cole says she was shattered and diagnosed with PTSD, and now she's out to deflate her ex-husband's image. "I want to let women know that he is not who he pretends to be," she writes, adding that organizations that plan to honor him for his feminist work should "think twice." In an editor's note at the end of the piece, a spokesperson for Whedon says that the blog contains "inaccuracies and misrepresentations" but that Whedon won't comment in detail to shield their kids and out of respect for Cole. A post sympathetic to Cole at the Mary Sue notes that the recently divorced often say terrible things about their exes and that monogamy isn't necessarily a feminist ideal, "but don't try and use them to dismiss it, okay?" (Read Cole's blog in full here.)