Charisma Carpenter is speaking out about her own experience working with the writer and director on his signature TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
In a two-part Twitter post that was hashtagged #IStandwithRayFisher, the actress reveals that she participated in WarnerMedia’s investigation into Whedon’s conduct in the wake of Ray Fisher‘s claims — an investigation that officially concluded in December following Whedon’s November announcement that he was stepping away from his HBO series, The Nevers.
Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase, alleged that at one point Whedon called her into a meeting during which he allegedly asked if she was “going to keep it,” apparently a reference to her pregnancy, and attacked her character and religion. She said she was “unceremoniously fired” from the role of Cordelia the following season.
“I believe Ray to be a person of integrity who is telling the truth,” writes Carpenter, adding that Fisher’s firing from Warner’s upcoming The Flash feature was the “last straw” that encouraged her to speak up.
She said Whedon has a “history of creating toxic and hostile work environments”, including the one she experienced on Buffy.
In an Instagram post, Sarah Michelle Gellar, who starred as the title character on the 1997 to 2003 series, responded to Carpenter’s allegations, saying: “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.
“I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently, so I will not be making any further statements at this time. I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.”
Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Gellar’s sister in the program, reposted Gellar’s comments, saying: “I am brave enough now as a 35-year-old woman to repost this.” She also alluded to “his not appropriate behavior” she experienced as a teenage actor.
Amber Benson, who appeared as Tara Maclay in Buffy, also responded to the allegations, saying on Twitter that Carpenter was telling the truth and that the show had had a “toxic environment,” which started “from the top.” She added: “There was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it 20-plus years later.”
Joss Whedon has yet to comment on these allegations.