Sarah Michelle Gellar is speaking up in support of her Buffy the Vampire Slayer costar Charisma Carpenter after she came forward with abuse claims against director Joss Whedon. After Carpenter, who starred as Cordelia Chase on both Buffy and Angel, shared her experiences working on Whedon’s “hostile” and “toxic” sets this morning, Gellar issued her own statement on Instagram addressing the 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,” Gellar shared. “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. But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.”
Gellar’s statement comes just hours after Carpenter released an open letter on Twitter detailing the abuse she suffered while working with Whedon for years on both shows. “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 I coped in isolation and, at time, destructively,” she wrote.
While Carpenter accused Whedon of abusing his power on set, she specifically shared moments when the director body-shamed her during her pregnancy, questioned if she would keep her baby, and demanded she show up to set at 1 a.m. while pregnant. “He was mean and biting, disparaging about others openly, and often played favorites, pitting people against one another to compete and vie for his attention and approval,” she shared.
Carpenter was inspired to come forward with her experiences in part because of Justice League star Ray Fisher, who spoke up last summer about Whedon’s “gross, abusive” and “unprofessional” behavior on set of the film. “It is abundantly evident that Joss has persisted in his harmful actions, continuing to create wreckage in his wake,” Carpenter, who included the hashtag #IStandWithRayFisher in her letter, wrote. “My hope now, by finally coming forward with these experiences, is to create space for the healing of others who I know have experienced similar serialized abuses of power.”
Gellar’s Instagram message marks the third Buffy star to come forward in support of Carpenter. Amber Benson, who played Tara Maclay on Buffy, re-tweeted Carpenter’s letter with the message, “Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top. @AllCharisma is speaking truth and I support her 100%. There was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it twenty plus years later.”
Clare Kramer, another Buffy actor who starred on Season 5 of the show as Glory, also came forward to support Carpenter’s claims. “For what it’s worth, I believe and stand with @allcharisma, @ray8fisher, @amber_benson and others who have the strength to come forward with their truth,” she tweeted. A lot of this industry needs a reset…..”
Whedon has yet to respond to the claims against him.
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