Charisma Carpenter alleges Joss Whedon “abused his power on numerous occasions” while she performed on Whedon’s series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.” In a lengthy statement the actor posted to Twitter on Wednesday, Carpenter alleges that Whedon’s “casually cruel” behavior included threatening to fire her, calling her “fat” when she was four months pregnant, asking her if she was going to “keep” her baby, and firing her after she gave birth.
A representative for Whedon declined to comment.
The bulk of Carpenter’s statement focuses on Whedon’s reaction upon learning that she was pregnant while shooting the WB series “Angel,” which premiered in 1999 as a spin-off to “Buffy.” She alleges that after “refusing” calls from her agents to communicate she was pregnant, when she Whedon did learn of her status, he took a “closed-door meeting” with her.
“[H]e asked me if I was ‘going to keep it,’ and manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me,” Carpenter alleges. “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.”
Carpenter says she was then given a 1 a.m. call for work after her doctor had recommended shortening her hours after she began experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions due to the “long and physically demanding days.” She says she believes the 1 a.m. call “was retaliatory.” (Carpenter’s pregnancy was worked into the plot line of the show.)
In the wake of her experience of leaving “Angel,” Carpenter says that she felt “powerless and alone,” especially as the “primary breadwinner” for her family. “Unfortunately, all this was happening during one of the most wonderful time[s] in new motherhood,” she writes. “All that promise and joy sucked right out. And Joss was the vampire.”
In her statement, Carpenter says she chose to come forward in light of Ray Fisher’s allegations that Whedon abused his power on the set of “Justice League,” which was the subject of a lengthy investigation by WarnerMedia last year. Carpenter says that she participated in that investigation, and decided to come forward after Fisher went public that he was no longer going to appear as his “Justice League” character of Cyborg in the upcoming movie “The Flash.”
“Although I am not shocked, I am deeply pained by it,” Carpenter writes. “It troubles and saddens me that in 2021 professionals STILL have to choose between whistleblowing in the workplace and job security.”
Shortly after Carpenter posted her statement, “Buffy” actor Amber Benson voiced her support on Twitter, alleging that the show was a “toxic environment and it starts from the top.”
“There was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it twenty plus years later,” Benson wrote.
Fisher also expressed support for Carpenter, calling her “one of the bravest people I know.”
Carpenter’s full statement is below.
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 10, 2021