Last year, Justice League's Ray Fisher made shocking allegations of abuse against the superhero film's director Joss Whedon, but more stars have since come forward with similar stories about the Hollywood heavy hitter's misbehavior on set. Charisma Carpenter (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fame) is the latest, and her claims about Whedon are particularly dark.
Fisher, who played android Cyborg in the 2017 blockbuster, made waves by launching an active social media campaign against Whedon, Warner Bros., and DC Comics. The battle stemmed from production of Justice League, during which Fisher alleges that Whedon was repeatedly abusive to the film's cast and crew. Complaints about the behavior on set were sent to the higher ups at Warner Bros. and Marvel, but Fisher claims that no real action to reprimand the director was taken. In fact, the actor was the one disciplined for speaking out; he claimed that the executives had even threatened his career.
Fisher was supported by co-star Jason Momoa, and his decision to bring Whedon's behavior to light inspired Carpenter to do the same. Starring on both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel — shows created by Whedon — the actress worked extensively with the filmmaker. In a series of statements shared on her Twitter, Carpenter claims that her experience with Whedon was especially harrowing.
"Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel," wrote Carpenter. "While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers. The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer. It is with a beating, heavy heart that I say that I coped in isolation, and at times, destructively."
Carpenter went on to claim that when she became pregnant while Angel was still on air, Whedon made things incredibly difficult for her.
“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," her statement read."“Unfortunately, all this was happening during one of the most wonderful time[s] in new motherhood. All that promise and joy sucked right out. And Joss was the vampire.”
The actress shared that she had also been part of Warner Bros' extensive investigation into Whedon's abuse allegations and only decided to come forward when Fisher revealed that he wouldn't be reprising his role in future Justice League projects. Since sharing her statement, Carpenter's story has been co-signed by Buffy co-stars Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amber Benson, Michelle Trachtenberg, and David Boreanaz.
"Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top," tweeted Benson. "@AllCharisma is speaking the truth and I support her 100%. There was a lot of damage done during that time and a lot of us are still processing it twenty plus years later."
"I don't want to be associated with Joss Whedon forever," Gellar shared on her Instagram stories. "But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out."
"We know what he did," Trachtenberg captioned Gellar's post on Instagram "Behind. The. Scenes."
There's been no rebuttal from the man implicated in all of these statements; right before the premiere of his new HBO series The Nevers, it seems that Joss has quietly slipped out of the spotlight. But Whedon's silence isn't keeping his accusers from making their voices heard. If anything, they're only getting louder.
"Despite my fear about [my statement's] impact on my future, I can no longer remain silent," Carpenter concluded on social media. "This is overdue and necessary. It is time."