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 TV sister’s 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.” Trachtenberg later edited the post to add, “Very. Not. Appropriate. So now. People know. What Joss. Did. The last. Comment I will make on this. Was. There was a rule. Saying. He’s not allowed in a room alone with Michelle again.”
Fellow Buffy vet Eliza Dushku, who also worked with Whedon on Fox’s Dollhouse, responded to Carpenter’s allegations in an Instagram statement of her own. “CC, my heart aches for you and I’m so sorry you have held this for so long,” she wrote. “Your post was powerful, painful, and painted a picture we’ll collectively never un-see or un-know.”
James Marsters, who played vampire Spike, added his voice to the conversation on Feb. 12 with the following statement: “While I will always be honored to have played the character of Spike, the Buffy set was not without challenges. 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.”
TVLine has reached out to reps for both Whedon and 20th Television (the studio behind Buffy and Angel) for comment.
“Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel,” Carpenter’s missive began. “While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers. The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer. It is with a beating, heavy heart that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively.” (Read Carpenter’s full statement here.)
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.”