Joss Whedon Responds To Toxic Behavior Allegations Made By Cast & Crew of ‘Angel’ & ‘Justice League’
Joss Whedon has finally publicly responded to several accusations of toxic behavior and other misconduct on Film and TV sets he ran including Justice League, Firefly, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and its spinoff series Angel.
Several cast members on these series and films have claimed that Whedon mistreated them on set. This includes Justice League actors Gal Gadot and Ray Fisher, who portrayed Wonder Woman and Cyborg respectively.
Gadot told Israeli news outlet N12 in May that she and Whedon clashed on set. She claimed he, “kind of threatened my career and said if I did something, he would make my career miserable.”
Whedon denied this claim in the profile, saying “English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech.” This excuse did not fly with Gadot, who emailed New York magazine to clarify she “understood perfectly” what Whedon was saying.
Fisher claimed that Whedon’s involvement in the Justice League reshoots led to “The erasure of people of color from the 2017 theatrical version of Justice League.” He also described Whedon’s behavior as “gross, abusive, unprofessional and completely unacceptable.” Whedon denied the accusations and quipped that Fisher is “a bad actor in both senses,” when asked why Fisher would push false claims.
Whedon’s poor behavior apparently was going on far before the 2016 Justice League debacle, however. Actress Charisma Carpenter, who portrayed Cordelia Chase in both Buffy and Angel, posted allegations against Whedon to Twitter on February of 2021.
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 10, 2021
Carpenter called Whedon’s behavior “casually cruel,” and said that he repeatedly insulted and manipulated her in supposed retaliation to her pregnancy, before firing her from Angel the following season after she had given birth. Whedon denied Carpenter’s claim that he called her “fat” while she was pregnant, and said their on-set interactions were mostly “delightful.”
The Vulture profile doesn’t only mention old accusations of toxic behavior. It also contains bombshell revelations from several below-the-line crew members that faced concerning treatment from Whedon.
Cynthia Bergstrom, the longtime Buffy costume designer, claims Whedon “grabbed my arm and dug in his fingers until his fingernails imprinted on my skin,” when she rushed him during a costuming discussion between him and show star Sarah Michelle Gellar.
An anonymous writer that worked on Firefly shared a story of Whedon mocking a female staff writer’s script in a way that was “basically 90 minutes of vicious mockery,” and had an unproductive “intent to hurt.”
Whedon denied these allegations as well but did acknowledge that he was sometimes volatile while running his first shows. “I yelled, and sometimes you had to yell. This was a very young cast, and it was easy for everything to turn into a cocktail party.”
At the end of the interview, Whedon wrapped up his response by saying his accusers have been using “every weaponizable word of the modern era to make it seem like I was an abusive monster. I think I’m one of the nicer showrunners that’s ever been.”