Charisma Carpenter has released a lengthy statement about her time as one of the stars of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, accusing creator Joss Whedon of creating a “hostile and toxic” environment on the shows. Carpenter says Whedon could be “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.” Carpenter says the alleged treatment “triggered a chronic physical condition” which has led her to cope “in isolation and, at times, destructively.”
Carpenter discusses her firing from Angel, which she says came about because of her pregnancy. She says that Whedon first asked her if she was “going to keep it” and then when she said she was, “manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me.”
“He proceeded to attack my character, mock my religious beliefs, accuse me of sabotaging the show and then unceremoniously fired me the following season once I gave birth,” Carpenter says. She added that she was scared about speaking up but following a series of accusations from Justice League‘s Ray Fisher, felt it was time to tell her story.
It has taken me so long to muster the courage to make this statement publicly. The gravity of it is not lost on me. As a single mother whose family’s livelihood is dependent on my craft, l’m scared. Despite my fear about its impact on my future, I can no longer remain silent. This is overdue and necessary. It is time.
Representatives for Whedon have not yet responded to Carpenter’s claims.
Since creating twin iconic hits Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Whedon has gone onto create shows like Firefly, directed the first two Avengers movies for Marvel Studios and took over direction of Justice League after Zack Snyder exited the project. While Whedon’s series of women protagonists earned him a reputation as a feminist, a series of accusations has undercut his legacy. Carpenter’s statement follows a 2017 essay from Whedon’s ex-wife Kai Cole, when she accused him of multiple infidelities over the course of their 16-year marriage. “I believed, everyone believed, that he was one of the good guys, committed to fighting for women’s rights, committed to our marriage and to the women he worked with,” Cole wrote. “But I now see how he used his relationship with me as a shield, both during and after our marriage, so no one would question his relationships with other women or scrutinize his writing as anything other than feminist.”
You can read Carpenter’s full statement below.
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 10, 2021