Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Dawn Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, expressed her support for the comments made this week by Charisma Carpenter and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Carpenter, who expressed support for Justice League star Ray Fisher, said that the series’ creator, Joss Whedon, committed verbal abuse on set, mistreated actors and created a hostile work environment. Whedon, who for much of his career had the reputation of being one of Hollywood’s most ardent feminists, apparently took advantage of the fact that the show was populated by young women who were too scared or too early in their careers to talk about it.
This is no longer the case. Trachtenberg’s message, though not as personal and eloquent as Carpenter’s, is certainly more direct and overwhelming than Gellar’s, which was primarily intended to show support for Carpenter.
“Joss Whedon repeatedly abused his power by collaborating on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. While his misconduct seemed fun to him, it only increased my performance anxiety, robbed me of my power and alienated me from my colleagues,” Carpenter said in a statement published on social media. “These disturbing incidents caused a chronic physical condition from which I suffer to this day.” It is with a heavy heart that I say I have faced this situation in an isolated and sometimes devastating way.”
“He created a hostile and toxic work environment early in his career,” Carpenter said. “I know this because I experienced it firsthand.” On more than one occasion. He was mean and caustic, openly despised and often favored others, pitted people against each other and competed for his attention and approval.”
Fisher publicly scolded Whedon several times for insulting the Justice League actors after he took over the film from Zack Snyder, who left after the death of his daughter. Whedon came in to finish the film and do some key retakes, drastically shortening the film and lightening the tone. In addition to Whedon, Fisher named Warner Bros. executives who he thought were complicit or at least ignored evidence of alleged abuse.
Warner Bros. investigated Fisher’s allegations and issued a vague statement that corrective action had been taken. Fisher, for his part, was not satisfied with the outcome.
Gellar made a brief statement in support of Carpenter: “While I am proud that my name is associated with Buffy Summers, I do not want my name to always be associated with Joss Whedon, I stand by a l ….all survivors of abuse and am proud that they have spoken out.”
Trachtenberg added that because of the “very inappropriate” behavior, a rule had been instituted that Whedon was not allowed to be alone in the room with her.
“Now, as a 35-year-old woman, I’m brave enough to post this,” Trachtenberg wrote of Gellar’s statement of support, adding, “Now people know what Joss has done.”
You can see his position below.
“Charisma Carpenter is one of the bravest people I know,” Fisher said in a statement. “I am eternally grateful to her for her courage and for lending her voice to the Justice League investigation. Read his truth. Share its truth. Protect it at all costs. “The time has come. A>E.”
“A>E” stands for “responsibility is more important than entertainment,” a mantra Fisher has associated with his charges from the beginning.
This is not the first time people from Whedon’s inner circle have spoken out against his behavior. In 2017, his ex-wife Kai Cole spoke out, calling him a “hypocrite who preaches feminist ideals” and claiming that he made deals during their relationship, allegedly with people who worked on his TV show and films. This was the first major tipping point when years of whispered accusations became very public, and the Whedonesque fan site was even shut down as a result.