Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar condemns Joss Whedon amid claims of 'toxic' abuse

11 February 2021, 08:28 | Updated: 11 February 2021, 08:40

From left to right: Charisma Carpenter, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joss Whedon
From left to right: Charisma Carpenter, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joss Whedon. Picture: PA

Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar has said she doesn't want to be "forever associated" to show creator Joss Whedon following allegations levelled against him of creating a 'toxic' environment of abuse.

Actress Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase on the supernatural drama, had released a statement earlier on Wednesday, accusing Whedon of creating a "hostile and toxic" environment on-set.

She said he was responsible for "ongoing, passive-aggressive threats" to fire her, and had called her "fat" when she was four months pregnant.

"Only recently, after years of therapy and a wake-up call from the Time's Up movement, do I understand the complexities of this demoralised thinking," she said.

"It is impossible to understand the psyche without enduring the abuse.

"Our society and industry vilify the victims and glorify the abusers for their accomplishments.

"The onus is on the abused with an expectation to accept and adapt to be employable.

"No accountability on the transgressor who sails on unscathed. Unrepentant. Remorseless.

"These memories and more have weighed on my soul like bricks for nearly half of my life."

Carpenter, 50, who also played Chase in spin-off show Angel, said she had been prompted to tell her story after fellow actor Ray Fisher was removed from the cast of upcoming superhero movie The Flash after he publicly criticised Whedon.

In his complaints, Fisher, who played Cyborg in Justice League, said Whedon had subjected the cast and crew of the 2017 movie to "gross, abusive, unprofessional and completely unacceptable" behaviour.

Whedon, who directed the reshoots of Justice League after original director Zack Snyder stepped down, was not available for comment on Wednesday.

Later in the evening, Gellar, who played the protagonist on Buffy, was also prompted to respond to the allegations, writing on Instagram: "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.

"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."