On Monday, New York magazine published a profile of Joss Whedon, the fallen TV and movie maven, who has been accused of all manner of abuse from several former colleagues. Among them was Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase on both Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show that made Whedon’s name, and its spinoff Angel. She alleged that he “created hostile and toxic work environments,” and often singled her out. In the profile, Whedon vaguely admitted to some accusations and denied others. And Carpenter, like others, isn’t having it.
Early last year, Carpenter opened up about her history with Whedon, claiming that he started emotionally manipulating her after she became pregnant during Angel’s run, at one point called her “fat,” and fired her the season after she gave birth. Whedon addressed the allegations, saying only that he was “not mannerly” but denying that he’d called her “fat.”
The profile — in which he sharply pushed back against Ray Fisher, the Justice League actor who accused him of different forms of abuse and who dramatically cut down his role as Cyborg for the initial finished product — did not sit well with Carpenter.
In an Instagram post that began with the hashtag “#IStandWithRayFisher,” Carpenter called Whedon a ““tyrannical narcissistic boss who is still unable to be accountable and just apologize.”
Fisher was also displeased with what Whedon said in the piece, including calling him a “bad actors in both senses.” In a Twitter post that began with him showing solidarity with Carpenter, Fisher slammed both “the influence of a White male shadow puppeteer,” as well as the New York reporter who printed a wild conspiracy from Whedon defenders in which original Justice League director Zack Snyder “tricked” Fisher into thinking Whedon was racist. Fisher called that “nonsense.”
#IStandWithCharismaCarpenter who (like this “bad actor in both senses”) has no agency in determining matters of abuse or race, but for the influence of a White male shadow puppeteer.@NYMag and @lilapearl should be ashamed for regurgitating this nonsense.
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) January 18, 2022
Early in the New York profile, Whedon admits that he’s “terrified” of “every word that comes out of my mouth.” But clearly he should have been even more scared of what was on his mind.