Charisma Carpenter alleges power abuse on Buffy, Angel
Actor accuses show creator of “casually cruel” behaviour, including after learning she was pregnant.
Former Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel actor Charisma Carpenter has alleged creator Joss Whedon “abused his power on numerous occasions” while she performed on both shows.
In a lengthy statement posted to Twitter she alleges that Whedon’s “casually cruel” behaviour included threatening to fire her, calling her “fat” when she was four months pregnant, asking her if she was going to “keep” her baby, and firing her after she gave birth.
Much of her statement focuses on Whedon’s reaction upon learning that she was pregnant while shooting Angel, which premiered in 1999. She alleges that after “refusing” calls from her agents to communicate she was pregnant, when she Whedon did learn of her status, he took a “closed-door meeting” with her.
“[H]e asked me if I was ‘going to keep it,’ and manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me,” Carpenter alleges. “He proceeded to attack my character, mock my religious beliefs, accuse me of sabotaging the show, and then unceremoniously fired me following the season once I gave birth.”
Carpenter says she was then given a 1am. call for work after her doctor had recommended shortening her hours after she began experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions due to the “long and physically demanding days.” She says she believes the call “was retaliatory.”
Her statement follows allegations by Ray Fisher that Whedon abused his power on the set of Justice League, which was the subject of a lengthy investigation by WarnerMedia last year. Whedon stepped back from The Nevers during the investigation, citing exhaustion.
“Although I am not shocked, I am deeply pained by it,” Carpenter writes. “It troubles and saddens me that in 2021 professionals STILL have to choose between whistleblowing in the workplace and job security.”
Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar also took to social media following Carpenter’s claims.
“While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon,” she wrote on Instagram.
She said that as she is more focused on “raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently … I will not be making any further statement at this time. But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.”
A representative for Whedon declined to comment.
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 10, 2021