On February 10, Charisma Carpenter shared a statement on social media detailing alleged emotional abuse she experienced at the hands of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel showrunner Joss Whedon. Her decision to speak out came after Justice League actor Ray Fisher called out Whedon last year for “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behavior on the movie’s set.
Many of Carpenter’s castmates offered support, including Sarah Michelle Gellar, David Boreanaz, James Marsters, Eliza Dushku, Amber Benson, and Michelle Trachtenberg. In her statement of support, Trachtenberg shared allegations of her own, writing that “there was a rule [on set] saying he’s not allowed in a room alone with Michelle again.” On Friday, Variety published an exposé featuring interviews with former Buffy and Angel crew members, detailing Whedon’s toxic behavior on set.
According to an anonymous source, the rule behind Whedon not being allowed alone in the same room as Trachtenberg was due to “improper verbal exchange between Whedon and Trachtenberg.”
The piece’s sources also corroborate Carpenter’s allegations. Many crew members remember the volatile dynamic between the actress and Whedon starting early. A source who is described as “an individual who held a top position close to the show in its early years,” Whedon was pushed by the network to cast Carpenter against his wishes. The person recalls Whedon picking on Carpenter, with some of the writers of the show following Whedon’s lead, criticizing her acting.
Another crew member who worked closely with Carpenter on both Buffy and Angel, also recalls Whedon being “mean-spirited” and “verbally abusive” towards the actress. A producer also said that they noticed Whedon became even more hostile towards Carpenter while filming Angel, leading to writing off her character, as detailed by Carpenter in her own statement.
As of the time of publication, Whedon has yet to speak on the allegations.