Joss Whedon has faced a string of allegations against him, with the floodgates opening in the last few days, as various members of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast spoke out.
The director, best known for creating the classic TV show, as well as the likes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and directing the first two Avengers movies and DC’s Justice League after replacing Zack Snyder, has been accused of abusing his power and cultivating a toxic workplace.
Stars including Ray Fisher, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Charisma Carpenter, and Amber Benson have spoken out against him.
The filmmaker has not yet commented on the allegations.
Fisher has also taken aim at DC boss Walter Hamada, and Justice League producers Jon Berg, and Geoff Johns.
Berg previously addressed Fisher’s claims, telling Variety that it is ‘categorically untrue that we enabled any unprofessional behavior’ while Justice League was in production.
Johns and Hamada have not addressed the allegations.
June 2020: Ray Fisher accuses Whedon of being ‘gross, abusive, unprofessional’ on Justice League set
Cyborg actor Ray Fisher spoke out against Whedon last June, when he tweeted a clip of himself at San Diego Comic Con in 2017.
On a Justice League panel, the actor said: ‘Joss is a great guy and Zack picked a great person to come in and clean up – and finish up for him.’
Fisher later tweeted: ‘I’d like to take a moment to forcefully retract every bit of this statement’.
A couple of days later, he claimed on Twitter: ‘Joss Whedon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional and completely unacceptable. He was enabled, in many ways, by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg. Accountability>Entertainment.’
‘He went from the humble writer who used to turn to me for ways to shoot fight scenes into a real egomaniac who believed his own hype. Then again, maybe he was always that way and I was simply too naive to see it as he never showed that side to me before. We’d always supported each other […]
‘Sophia and I kept going for as long as we could but tensions grew and certain members of the crew began to plot against each other – including shady things directed at me behind my back.’
August 2020: WarnerMedia launches investigation into allegations about Justice League
Fisher later tweeted, claiming that WarnerMedia had launched an investigation to ‘get to the heart of the toxic and abusive work environment created during Justice League reshoots.’
He added: ‘I believe this investigation will show that Geoff Johns, Joss Whedon, Jon Berg (and others) grossly abused their power during the uncertainty of AT&T’s merger with Time Warner. Thank you @WarnerMedia and @ATT for making strides to ensure a safer workplace for all.’
Following the tweet, Warner Bros. released a statement claiming that Fisher was not co-operating with the investigation, denying claims made against Hamada and the phone call.
They added he was not in his position when Justice League was filmed so had nothing to do with what happened during production.
Whedon said: ‘This year of unprecedented challenges has impacted my life and perspective in ways I could never have imagined, and while developing and producing The Nevers has been a joyful experience, I realize that the level of commitment required moving forward, combined with the physical challenges of making such a huge show during a global pandemic, is more than I can handle without the work beginning to suffer.
‘I am genuinely exhausted, and am stepping back to martial my energy towards my own life, which is also at the brink of exciting change. I am deeply proud of the work we have done; I’m grateful to all my extraordinary cast and collaborators, and to HBO for the opportunity to shape yet another strange world. The Nevers is a true labor of love, but after two plus years of labor, love is about all I have to offer. It will never fade.’
Fisher tweeted the news and claimed: ‘I have no intention of allowing Joss Whedon to use the old Hollywood tactic of “exiting”, “stepping down”, or “walking away” to cover for his terrible behavior. WarnerMedia’s JL investigation has been in full swing for over 3 weeks now. This is undoubtedly a result of it.’
January 2021: Fisher claims his Cyborg cameo in The Flash was ‘removed’
Fisher was expected to make a cameo as Cyborg in the upcoming superhero flick The Flash, but claimed WarnerMedia ‘removed’ him from it.
In a lengthy statement shared on Twitter, Fisher said: ‘I have received official confirmation that Warner Bros. Pictures has decided to remove me from the cast of The Flash. I strongly disagree with their decision, but it is one that is unsurprising.’
He added: ‘Despite the misconception, Cyborg’s involvement in The Flash was much larger than a cameo – and while I do mourn the lost opportunity to bring Victor Stone back to the screen, bringing awareness to the actions of Walter Hamada [DC Films president] will prove to be a much more important contribution to the world.’
WarnerMedia responded, saying: ‘Last summer, Mr. Fisher was offered the opportunity to reprise his role as Cyborg in ‘The Flash’.
‘Given his statement that he will not participate in any film associated with Mr. Hamada, our production is now moving on.’
February 2021: Buffy’s Charisma Carpenter speaks out against Whedon
Buffy star Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase, accused Whedon of ‘traumatising’ her on the set of the hit show.
She detailed events that ‘still traumatise me to this day’ and alleged that he made ‘ongoing, passive-aggressive threats to fire me’ and made comments about her weight to colleagues when she was four months pregnant.
‘He was mean and biting, disparaging about others openly, and often played favourites, pitting people against one another to compete and vie for his attention and approval’ Carpenter said.
The star went on to claim Whedon ‘attacked my character’ and made fun of her religious beliefs.
‘These memories and more have weighed on my soul like bricks for nearly half of my life. I wish I said something sooner. I wish I had the composure and courage all those years ago. But I muted myself in shame and conditioned silence,’ her statement continued.
Throwing her support behind Fisher, she added she was ‘not shocked’ by his allegations.
February 2021: Fisher demands apology from DC boss for ‘enabling Whedon’.
In a new tweet supporting Charisma and her castmates, Fisher wrote: ‘What makes Walter Hamada “the most dangerous kind of enabler” is his willingness to blindly cover for his colleagues.
‘Had he succeeded in discouraging the Justice League investigation, we would not be here. ‘He owes Charisma Carpenter and every other participant an apology.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted reps for Joss Whedon and WarnerMedia for further comment.
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