Joss Whedon Broke His Silence On Ray Fisher’s Allegations Of Abuse, Calling Him A ‘Bad Actor In Both Senses’

On Monday, New York magazine published a lengthy profile of Joss Whedon, the fallen TV and film maven who, over the last handful of years, has been accused of all manner of abuse. The allegations include him toxic behavior around actresses (and not just Charisma Carpenter, who came forward last year.) They include women he slept with charging him with emotional manipulation. And they include actors on the set of Justice League, which he took over mid-stream from director Zack Snyder, accusing him of being threatening and, in Ray Fisher’s case, dramatically cutting his role down.

After laying low the last couple years, Whedon finally broke his silence, responding to the many accusations. Some he accepts. (Of one relationship that went south, he says he “should have handled the situation better.”) Some he denies. Fisher’s accusations are among the latter.

In Justice League, Fisher played Cyborg, and it was his first major role. In Snyder’s original version (and somewhat in the so-called “Snyder cut” that was released last year), Cyborg — DC’s first Black superhero — was the center of the story. When Whedon boarded, he cut his role way down. In 2020, amidst the George Floyd riots that sprung up nationwide, Fisher spoke out, accusing Whedon of not only being rude but of gutting his role. He even claimed Whedon had used color correction to change the color of his skin.

In the New York profile, Whedon pushed back:

Whedon says he cut down Cyborg’s role for two reasons. The story line “logically made no sense,” and he felt the acting was bad. According to a source familiar with the project, Whedon wasn’t alone in feeling that way; at test screenings, viewers deemed Cyborg “the worst of all the characters in the film.” Despite that, Whedon insists he spent hours discussing the changes with Fisher and that their conversations were friendly and respectful. None of the claims Fisher made in the media were “either true or merited discussing,” Whedon told me.

Whedon ended up describing Fisher as a “malevolent force,” calling him “a bad actor in both senses.”

When Snyder’s re-cut of Justice League came out last year, Fisher’s role was greatly expanded. He and his arc received warm reviews, with some remarking that it provided the film’s emotional anchor.

Fisher reportedly didn’t respond to multiple interview requests for New York’s article, but when the profile was published, he was quick to put in his two cents over social media.

“Looks like Joss Whedon got to direct an endgame after all,” Fisher wrote before moving to more important issues. “Rather than address all of the lies and buffoonery today—I will be celebrating the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tomorrow the work continues.”

There’s a lot more in the profile. Whedon shoots down Gal Gadot, who’s also accused Whedon of on-set abuse, even threatening her career, saying she simply didn’t understand the nuances of his discussions with her because “English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech.” In an e-mail, Gadot said, “I understood perfectly.”

(Via Vulture)