David Boreanaz has offered a pledge of public support to Charisma Carpenter, just days after his former costar detailed the “toxic” and “hostile” abuse she allegedly suffered under Buffyverse auteur Joss Whedon.
Though Carpenter — who played Cordelia Chase on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel — has alluded to her experiences with Whedon in the past, on Feb. 10 the actress posted a deeply detailed missive on social media, elaborating on her claims and recalling Whedon’s “history of being casually cruel,” his creation of “hostile and toxic work environments,” what the Angel showrunner allegedly said and did to her during her real-life pregnancy, and how she coped with it all, “at times, destructively.”
“I am here for you to listen and support you,” Boreanaz said on Twitter. “Proud of your strength.”
Soon after, 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,” she wrote. “Thank you so much.”
Fellow Angel vet Amy Acker also released a statement on Twitter, which read: “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.” Julie Benz, who played Darla on both shows, meanwhile said, “My heart goes out to all victims of abuse. Sending love to my fellow Buffy and Angel survivors. I stand with you and support you.”
Carpenter went public with her abuse allegations partially in support of actor Ray Fisher. Fisher, who played Cyborg in the superhero film Justice League, has accused Whedon of, among other things, “gross, abusive, unprofessional and completely unacceptable” behavior upon picking up the directing reins from Zack Snyder.
Carpenter’s statement, in part, read: “Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. 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 her full statement here.)
In the wake of Carpenter’s post, fellow Buffyverse alumni — including Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), Amber Benson (Tara) and Eliza Dushku (Faith) — published their own comments in support of their former castmate.
“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,” Gellar said. “I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.”
Shortly after Gellar issued her statement, Trachtenberg reposted her TV sister’s comments alongside the following 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.”