After 20 Years of Silence, Buffy Star Airs Her Allegations

Charisma Carpenter says Joss Whedon regularly abused his power on set
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2021 2:41 PM CST

"For nearly two decades, I have held my tongue and made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day." So begins a statement posted Wednesday on social media by Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress Charisma Carpenter, who says the trauma happened at the hands of show creator Joss Whedon. The actress, who played Cordelia Chase on Buffy and spin-off Angel from 1997 to 2004, accuses Whedon of having "abused his power on numerous occasions" on set. "While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers." As for what that misconduct consisted of, the 50-year-old alleges Whedon made "passive-aggressive threats to fire" her on a regular basis.

She frames him as "mean and biting" and prone to play people off one another as they sought his attention and approval. She gets more specific about his reaction to her pregnancy, which she says included him asking if she planned to "keep it," calling her fat in front of others when she was 4 months pregnant and 126 pounds, scheduling 1am shoots in a "retaliatory" manner, and firing her the season after she gave birth. "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." She says she felt powerless at the time but found the courage to go public after actor Ray Fisher in July went public with allegations of his own tied to work on 2017's Justice League. People reports WarnerMedia conducted an internal investigation that ended in December with unspecified "remedial action." (Read more Joss Whedon stories.)

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