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Old 02-10-2021, 04:02 PM   #1
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Exclamation Charisma Carpenter Speaks Out on Joss Whedon's Abusive Behavior

"Buffy" Actress Charisma Carpenter Says Joss Whedon was Abusive and Harassing on Set: “Joss Was The Vampire
by Tom Tapp
Feb. 10, 2021



Former "Buffy" and "Angel" actress Charisma Carpenter accused those shows’ creator, Joss Whedon, of abusive and harassing behavior on set. In an Instagram message posted today, the actress says the incidents “triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer.

Carpenter claims Whedon called her “fat” when she was 4 months pregnant, threatened to fire her and made people vie for his approval on set.




One specific instance she cites is when, in a closed-door meeting after learning of her pregnancy, Carpenter says Whedon “asked me if I was ‘going to keep it.’” The actress says Whedon “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.

After that meeting, Carpenter says she “felt powerless and alone” but, with a baby on the way, also felt she had no other option so she “swallowed the mistreatment and carried on.” That lack of empowerment, she claims, sucked the joy out of being a new mother. “And Joss was the vampire,” she says.




Carpenter says she was prompted by Justice League actor Ray Fisher’s allegations against Whedon, who directed that film for Warner Bros.

Fisher has been at odds with Warner Bros. since last July, accusing Whedon of abuse during the post-Zack Snyder reshoots of Justice League. A subsequent Warner Bros. investigation said unspecified “remedial action” was taken, and the investigation was concluded.

No other details were revealed.




Carpenter revealed in her Instagram post on Wednesday that she participated in the Warners investigation. She continues: “It troubles and saddens me that, in 2021, professionals still have to choose between whistleblowing in the workplace and job security.

As a single mother whose family’s livelihood is dependent on my craft, I’m scared. Despite my fear about its impact on my future, I can no longer remain silent. This is overdue and necessary. It’s time.


https://deadline.com/2021/02/buffy-s...er-1234691282/
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Old 02-10-2021, 04:54 PM   #2
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I am so sorry to hear this. Angel certainly was never as good in Season 4, when she was sidelined for a number of episodes, and Season 5, when she made only one appearance. Charisma is what held that show together, and once they minimized her character, it was obvious the series was falling apart. I'm glad she's come forward to tell her story. She has always made only partial comments about those last two years.
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Old 02-10-2021, 05:27 PM   #3
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Sarah Michelle Gellar on Joss Whedon Misconduct Allegations
by Michael Ausiello
February 10, 2021



Titular "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" star Sarah Michelle Gellar is weighing on the scandal enveloping her former boss Joss Whedon.

In the wake of Charisma Carpenter’s stunning allegations that she suffered “toxic” and “hostile” abuse under the Buffyverse auteur, Gellar released her own statement.




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,” she wrote on Instagram.

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.




Shortly after Gellar issued her statement, "Buffy" co-star Michelle Trachtenberg reposted her comments alongside this caption:

Thank you @sarahmgellar for saying this. I am brave enough now as a 35 year old woman…. To repost this. Because. This must. Be known. As a teenager. With his not appropriate behavior.




Amber Benson, who played Tara on "Buffy", echoed Carpenter’s general sentiment, saying on Twitter:

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.

https://tvline.com/2021/02/10/sarah-...sma-carpenter/
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Old 02-10-2021, 08:52 PM   #4
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It was always rumored since season 4 of Angel began back in 2002 that Joss was unhappy with Charisma being pregnant. He was forced to write her pregnancy into the show and had to redo what he originally planned for her character and others. I don't remember all of season 4 but fans are speaking out in the comments on the news stories and reddit that Cordelia was written that year as if Charisma was being punished. I feel sorry for Charisma. I'm glad she's speaking out but again I'm wondering why does most of the Buffy cast say they won't do a reboot unless Joss is involved? It seems weird that they would want to work with the guy who was abusive behind the scenes again. I've worked with some asses before and God knows I would never want to work with them again. You don't go back to a toxic work environment. Sarah really needs to be careful with what she says because since Buffy ended, all she's done has praised Joss and said there's no Buffy without Joss. She put him on a pedestal so to save face, I think she should sit this one out without looking hypocritical.
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Old 02-11-2021, 02:41 AM   #5
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It was always rumored since season 4 of Angel began back in 2002 that Joss was unhappy with Charisma being pregnant. He was forced to write her pregnancy into the show and had to redo what he originally planned for her character and others. I don't remember all of season 4 but fans are speaking out in the comments on the news stories and reddit that Cordelia was written that year as if Charisma was being punished. I feel sorry for Charisma. I'm glad she's speaking out but again I'm wondering why does most of the Buffy cast say they won't do a reboot unless Joss is involved? It seems weird that they would want to work with the guy who was abusive behind the scenes again. I've worked with some asses before and God knows I would never want to work with them again. You don't go back to a toxic work environment. Sarah really needs to be careful with what she says because since Buffy ended, all she's done has praised Joss and said there's no Buffy without Joss. She put him on a pedestal so to save face, I think she should sit this one out without looking hypocritical.
I'm glad Sarah, Michelle Trachtenberg, Emma Caulfield, Amber Benson, and Clare Cramer (Glory) have all responded on their social media feeds, and each one seems to support what Charisma has said.

As you say, it did feel as though Charisma was being punished for getting pregnant. She went from the "Leading Lady of Angel" to "Comatose for a Year".

I think Sarah has found a good balance: she praises Joss for being a genius (he was) while also stating that certain people were marginalized and abused. I know Amber felt the same way, at the end, when her character was abruptly killed off as well.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:45 AM   #6
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I think Sarah has found a good balance: she praises Joss for being a genius (he was) while also stating that certain people were marginalized and abused. I know Amber felt the same way, at the end, when her character was abruptly killed off as well.
I feel like if Sarah speaks anymore about Joss's behavior, it could blow up in her face. He did after all let her be the one to announce Buffy was ending. Alyson confirmed that when she acknowledge that it was Sarah's interview in Entertainment Weekly on how she found out she was out of a job. Joss and Sarah kept that a secret from the rest of the cast. Even if Joss is a genius, why would you recommend that person to be in charge of projects if they're going to abuse you when working together? It seems off to me that some of the Buffy cast are going to speak up now about Joss being abusive when they've been saying for years they would only be part of the reboot if Joss was in charge. Again, I wouldn't want to work with people who create a toxic environment because it's not productive. I wouldn't recommend those type of workers either because other people would feel the abuse and anxiety when in that work environment.

Amber was actually shown respect from Joss. He wanted to make her permanent but she refused because she wanted to be available for other projects. He pushed off her death another year because he loved the way the Willow / Tara romance was going. He gave Amber a year's notice before even killing Tara off. There's some performers who don't even get a notice. They just find out when shooting the episode their character dies in that they're fired. At least Amber was treated better than Charisma in that aspect.
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Old 02-12-2021, 04:14 AM   #7
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Joss Whedon's feminist legacy unraveling has been a long time coming

Charisma Carpenter alleging Whedon abused his power and created a toxic culture when they worked together on Angel is the latest sign that the geek auteur's feminist cred wasn't all it was cracked up to be. "To a time traveler from 2003, when Buffy aired its final season, all of these accusations against Joss Whedon might seem shocking, even unbelievable," says Constance Grady. "Back then, the conventional wisdom on Joss Whedon was that his feminist credentials were unimpeachable. Whedon, after all, was the man who wrote a whole series from the point of view of the blonde who dies in the first scene of a horror movie, and who dared to make that blonde not just a main character but an action hero. His brand was the brand of strong women kicking a** and taking names. He won awards for his feminism. But in 2021, these accusations against Whedon feel as though they have been a long time coming. Whedon went on to become a celebrated Hollywood director, helming The Avengers in 2012 and Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015, and he has a new TV show, The Nevers, set to premiere on HBO in April. Meanwhile, Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains a beloved TV icon. But Whedon himself and his feminist legacy have been undergoing a long and painful reexamination." Grady points out that "the Whedon fandom’s growing ambivalence regarding his particular version of feminism came into focus with his short-lived 2009 series Dollhouse. Written as a showcase for Eliza Dushku, Dollhouse imagined a technology that wiped people’s minds into blank slates, fashioning them into 'Dolls' onto which could be projected a new identity and new personality. Many of the Dolls were attractive, scantily clad women, and they were programmed by a self-loathing nerdy programmer named Topher who, like most of Whedon’s avatars, dressed in schlubby clothing and spoke in a quippy stream of pop-culture references. As a metaphor for Whedon’s career, Dollhouse was hardly subtle. And as a show, it seemed ideologically torn between decrying the objectification of its heroines and taking a deep, sleazy pleasure in objectifying them...Part of what made Dollhouse so disturbing to some Whedon fans was that it made textual and explicit what had always been deep, deep subtext in Whedon’s other work. Most Whedon shows feature beautiful women who dress up in sexy outfits and kick a**. Most of those women are well-written characters with fully developed personalities, and they all received those personalities courtesy of Whedon’s pen and, sometimes, his camera. In the past, it had been easy to think of the writer-actor relationship in the context of creation and collaboration. And Buffy was so iconic and so beloved that many viewers were eager to do just that. But Dollhouse recast Whedon’s relationship with the actresses who worked for him as an icky, sexualized act of exploitation. It made every gratuitous shot of Buffy in a miniskirt or Firefly’s courtesan Inara in bed with a customer feel just a little bit gross." But it wasn't just Dollhouse that called into question Whedon's feminism. Whedon's 2015 film Avengers: Age of Ultron and the 2017 release of Whedon's unproduced 2004 script for a "god-awful" Wonder Woman movie led fans to start reconsidering his work on Buffy and Angel. Whedon's ex-wife Kai Cole calling him a “hypocrite preaching feminist ideals" also hurt Whedon's reputation. All this was before Ray Fisher accused Whedon last year of "abusive, unprofessional" behavior on the Justice League set. "So what we’re left with is a man who created one of the most beloved feminist heroes in TV history — and who has been accused by a number of the real women who worked for him, along with at least one actor of color, of creating a toxic workspace and retaliating against an actress who dared to get pregnant," says Grady. "Who’s been accused by his ex-wife of emotional abuse, and of having affairs with his employees. Whose later work seems to largely lack the feminist bona fides of the show that made him famous. Buffy the Vampire Slayer might be immortal. But Joss Whedon’s feminist legacy is not."

ALSO:
  • Charisma Carpenter's allegations against Joss Whedon are hitting Buffy and Angel fans hard: The allegations shouldn't be surprising following Ray Fisher's statements and his ex-wife Kai Cole calling out the “hypocrisy of being out in the world preaching feminist ideals” in a 2017 essay describing his alleged emotional abuse. "Situations like these involve fans in a few ways. We develop relationships, no matter how one-sided, with the people and stories we watch on screen," says Sage Young. "It can really be heartbreaking to find out that a piece of art that you love was created in an unsafe, unkind environment and that individuals you admire were terrorized in the process. Because of that connection, Buffy and Angel fans have been commenting in droves on the posts of the women who’ve spoken out, offering their condolences and thanking them for their strength. In this case, many who love the show are experiencing a special kind of betrayal. Buffy is a series beloved by fans in part because of its stereotype-busting female characters. It provided pop culture with some of its most visible, well-rounded depictions of teenage girls, who are rarely taken seriously or given much agency on screen. And then there’s deciding how to move forward with the art itself. In light of these accusations, we can safely say that Joss Whedon is not in fact a feminist, or at least not one who understands what the word actually means. That doesn’t mean that Buffy isn’t a feminist show. And the reverse is also true: Whedon can’t be called a feminist — or assumed to be a feminist — simply because he was the driving force behind Buffy. The implosion of a former genre darling like Whedon (HBO 'parted ways' with the showrunner on the upcoming series, The Nevers during the WarnerMedia investigation) is yet more proof that we can’t judge men in these positions of power by their output alone."
  • The #MeToo movement means that allegations against men like Whedon are less likely to be written off, but will there be lasting change?: "Executives are just trying to figure out when they’ll be forced to stop pretending everything is business as usual," says Lauren Strapagiel. "If anything has changed in the #MeToo era, it’s that claims of abuse or mistreatment are less likely to be written off as feuds, or rumors, or false accusations for publicity. That’s a step forward, undeniably, but the true reckoning won’t happen until there are lasting consequences. In cases where there’s not a criminal case to be easily made, abusive men may lose a bit of work here and there, but they’ll ultimately be fine. They have their money, their residuals, and the protection of executives who were always willing to overlook their bad behavior. They will get more work. They always do. Buffy was created by Whedon, but it wasn’t just his. The writers, the fans, and the actors made the show what it is. The character Buffy was special to me and so many others because she saved the world, even when it sucked, because someone had to. And if Buffy were a Hollywood executive, instead of a teen girl with super strength, she wouldn’t put up with this s***."
  • Michelle Trachtenberg says "there was a rule" on the Buffy set that Joss Whedon couldn't be alone with her following an unnamed incident
  • Buffy and Angel vet Eliza Dushku releases a statement praising Charisma Carpenter's "powerful" message: "My heart aches for you & I'm so sorry you have held this for so long. Your post was powerful, painful, and painted a picture we'll collectively never un-see or un-know," she wrote. "Thank you. I hadn't known it and I won't forget it."
  • Former Buffy star Anthony Head says he's "gutted" he didn't know about Whedon's alleged abuse: "I have been up most of the night just running through my memories thinking, 'What did I miss?'" Head said on ITV's This Morning. "This is not a man saying, 'I didn't see it so it didn't happen.' I am gutted. I'm seriously gutted because one of my memories — my fondest memory — was the fact that it was so empowering. Not just with the words in the script, but the family feel of the show...I am really sad that if people went through these experiences."
  • Prominent TV writer Nell Scovell, creator of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, recalled her offensive Joss Whedon experience: "I met Joss once when I interviewed to be a writer on Buffy," Scovell tweeted. "I was pregnant at the time. First thing he said to me: 'Boy, are you fat.' I laughed because it was an interview. But when I read (Charisma Carpenter's) post, I realized it was a pattern. And I didn't get the job."
  • HBO won't use Whedon's name in marketing The Nevers
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Old 02-12-2021, 11:12 AM   #8
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There's so many things I want to say about this because allegations like this irritate me. I'll just leave it with this; I hope Michelle is exaggerating with this rumor or making it up. This rumor makes it appear Joss might have tried to be sexual with Michelle, who was a teenager at the time she was filming Buffy. If that's what it is, then my only response is why didn't they go public with that? Joss was able to be alone with other young females after Buffy in work environments. If Joss was inappropriate with Michelle on Buffy, did they really not think he would do it again on another show? Why, since this was an onset rule everyone knew about, would any of the cast want Joss involved in a Buffy reboot working with young females again? This allegation doesn't add up to what the cast has said over the years in interviews about the show and what they want in a reboot. But if it is indeed true, it appears the Buffy cast cares more about maintaining a public image than doing the right thing. That pisses me off. If an adult is being inappropriate with a kid, you put a permanent stop to that and do things to prevent it from happening to other kids. You don't keep it a secret for 20 years and reveal it because the timing feels right.
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Old 02-12-2021, 12:41 PM   #9
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Michelle's statement... I don't even know what to think. If she wasn't allowed to be alone with him, then there was a reason. And if there was a reason, why did this not come out for two decades?
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Old 02-13-2021, 02:04 PM   #10
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Joss Whedon isn't the only person who made Buffy: Abuse allegations shouldn't take the show down

"For me, a longtime Buffy fan, these allegations feel different from other abuses of power by creators and producers revealed over the past few years, and I’ve been trying to figure out why," says Dan Kois of Charisma Carpenter's allegations that the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel creator was abusive, cruel and created a toxic work environment. "I think it’s because at the height of my love for this show, I prized it not only for its wit and excitement but for its progressivism—for the way it shone like a beacon in the doldrums of turn-of-the-millennium TV, the kind of feminist story that no other series was even trying to tell. In a time when a woman writer could have never gotten this kind of show greenlit, we fans said to ourselves, at least there was Joss—an ally. He empowered his actresses and the women who wrote and produced on his show to tell a thrilling story of a strong, complex young woman who subverted the expectations of a sexist culture. (Whedon has not responded to requests for comment on the allegations.) It wasn’t just that we loved Buffy. We believed that, despite its flaws, the show, like its heroine, was a force for good. So it sucks extra hard to learn, from multiple women who were there, that the set wasn’t a particularly nurturing environment, and that actresses on the show felt cruelly treated by the very visionary whom we fans so thoroughly believed in." Kois says he and his wife recently fulfilled a dream of rewatching Buffy and Angel with their now-teenage daughters, and they all loved both shows and found that they held up. He adds: "To come to terms with Buffy, I think, it’s important for me to be more clear with myself about the circumstances and context of its creation. That it can no longer feel so revolutionary as it once did does not mean that it cannot be meaningful to those who discover it now; it’s just meaningful in different ways. And that its founder was not all that we once thought he was does not take away from the small miracle that is this moving, funny, and stirring show; it’s a testament to the many others who made their way through a difficult environment to ensure that the results would be moving, funny, and stirring."

ALSO:
  • Firefly writer says Joss Whedon would laugh when he made female writers cry: "'Casually cruel' is a perfect way of describing Joss," tweeted Firefly writer Jose Molina. "He thought being mean was funny. Making female writers cry during a notes session was especially hysterical. He actually liked to boast about the time he made one writer cry twice in one meeting. #IStandWithCharismaCarpenter."
  • Where are the white men calling out Whedon?: "It’s both sad and inspiring to see women standing with (Charisma) Carpenter and (Ray) Fisher," says Jessica Mason. Inspiring because of the bravery it takes to stand in solidarity with others calling out someone they say abused them, and sad because that abuse happened. But as the women stood with Carpenter and Fisher, there was a segment of those who have worked with Whedon that was noticeably silent: the white men who have benefited most from the Whedon brand and fandom. We have to ask ourselves: why is it almost always women and people of color who have to speak up about abuse and sexism? Why was the internet loudly clamoring to hear more from Sarah Michelle Gellar, but not Angel star David Boreanaz? While Aquaman’s Jason Momoa publicly expressed support for Fisher, the rest of the Justice League remains silent. Why are these white guys given the luxury of silence? Even more importantly, will they examine that the extent to which their privilege and gender may have protected them and allowed them to be ignorant?"
  • Former Buffy showrunner Marti Noxon supports Charisma Carpenter and "the women of Buffy": "I would like to validate what the women of Buffy are saying and support them in telling their story. They deserve to be heard," she tweeted. "I understand where @AllCharisma, Amber, Michelle and all the women who have spoken out are coming from."
  • Spike actor James Marsters is "heartbroken" over Carpenter's allegations, admits the Buffy set "was not without challenges": "While I will always be honored to have played the character of Spike, the Buffy set was not without challenges," he wrote on Facebook. "I do not support abuse of any kind, and am heartbroken to learn of the experiences of some of the cast. I send my love and support to all involved."
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Old 02-15-2021, 02:15 PM   #11
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David Boreanaz Pledges Support for Charisma Carpenter Amid Joss Whedon Abuse Claims
by Denise Petski
Feb. 15, 2021



"Buffy" and "Angel" actor David Boreanaz (currently on CBS' SEAL Team) is the latest to speak out in support of his former co-star Charisma Carpenter, following her allegations of abuse and misconduct by Joss Whedon on the supernatural series.

I am here for you to listen and support you,” Boreanaz tweeted on Sunday. “Proud of your strength.

Carpenter replied: “I know you’re there for me, David. I appreciate all you’ve done to demonstrate that support privately as well. Especially since Wednesday … thank you so much.

https://deadline.com/2021/02/buffy-d...ms-1234693897/
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Old 02-15-2021, 04:40 PM   #12
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There's so many things I want to say about this because allegations like this irritate me. I'll just leave it with this; I hope Michelle is exaggerating with this rumor or making it up. .
And viewpoints like that is why people don't come forward for years.

Michelle was 14ish when she started on the show and was 17 when it ended; under age. I would like to see this allegation investigated and charges brought against Whedon.

Until the #MeToo movement, it was considered career suicide to speak out against anything publicly. Is that wrong, yes. But, what do you expect in an industry with a 94% unemployment rate? Until Whedon's ex wife wrote her article, https://www.thewrap.com/joss-whedon-...kai-cole-says/, it was primarily and industry secret. Whedon has had an enormous fall from grace, and more people are feeling safe enough to speak out against the way they were treated.
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Old 02-15-2021, 05:56 PM   #13
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David Boreanaz Pledges Support for Charisma Carpenter Amid Joss Whedon Abuse Claims
by Denise Petski
Feb. 15, 2021



"Buffy" and "Angel" actor David Boreanaz (currently on CBS' SEAL Team) is the latest to speak out in support of his former co-star Charisma Carpenter, following her allegations of abuse and misconduct by Joss Whedon on the supernatural series.

I am here for you to listen and support you,” Boreanaz tweeted on Sunday. “Proud of your strength.

Carpenter replied: “I know you’re there for me, David. I appreciate all you’ve done to demonstrate that support privately as well. Especially since Wednesday … thank you so much.

https://deadline.com/2021/02/buffy-d...ms-1234693897/
David Boreanaz and Amy Acker express support for Angel co-star Charisma Carpenter following her Joss Whedon abuse allegations

"I am here for you to listen and support you. Proud of your strength," Boreanaz tweeted Sunday. Carpenter responded: "I know you’re there for me, David. I appreciate all you’ve done to demonstrate that support privately as well. Especially since Wednesday. -Thank you so much." Acker released a statement this morning, writing: “I will always be proud of the work we all did on Angel. While I personally had a good and professional experience, it is heartbreaking to hear that not everyone did. I do not condone any actions that made anyone feel hurt or uncomfortable, and I offer love and support to everyone who is speaking out to tell their truths.” ALSO: The Whedon Studies Association mulls changing its name, and Buffy and Angel fans are regretting their tattoos, in wake of the Joss Whedon allegations.
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Old 02-15-2021, 07:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by shotzette View Post
And viewpoints like that is why people don't come forward for years.
Please don't ever take something I say out of context. I explained why I said what I said because it's wrong for the adults on that show not to say something to prevent it from happening to other young females. Sarah, Alyson, Nicholas, and countless other adults working on that show apparently knew of this rule and didn't make it public. It may be hard to speak up because of how it'll make you look but that's the risk of doing the right thing. I can't respect their decision to stay quiet for 20 years letting Joss be alone with other young females on other projects to do the same thing to them that he did to Michelle. The reason why I hope Michelle is exaggerating or making it up isn't to silence victims, it's to hope that the cast didn't put their public image before someone's safety. If you read my entire post you quoted, you'll see I said the exact same thing then. I'm more angry at the cast than Joss at this point because you don't let kids get hurt by an adult.


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Originally Posted by shotzette View Post
Michelle was 14ish when she started on the show and was 17 when it ended; under age. I would like to see this allegation investigated and charges brought against Whedon.
I've been a mandatory reporter for over 7 years. There's statue of limitations for cases like these. Because they waited 20 years, nothing will happen with this. Now because they stayed quiet, it's very likely Joss did this to another teenager since he got away with what he did to Michelle. He can be charged if the incident is fairly recent.

Last edited by Christopher; 02-15-2021 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 02-16-2021, 10:56 PM   #15
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Buffy's Nicholas Brendon isn't ready to talk about Joss Whedon

“I’m not speaking on Joss yet,” the Xander Harris actor said Monday in a Facebook Live video as he prepared to undergo spinal surgery, in broaching the subject of Charisma Carpenter's abuse allegations against Whedon. “It’s very personal for me, so I’ll speak on that when I’m ready to speak on that because he and I had a relationship. It’s a big part of my life, a very emotional part of my life and I want to give it the proper respect and time that it deserves.”
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