Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Anthony Head reflects on bullying claims

Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Anthony Head says he’s ‘seriously gutted’ his young co-stars didn’t speak to him about ‘toxic and cruel’ behaviour on set amid Joss Whedon abuse claims

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Charisma Carpenter called the show’s creator Joss Whedon ‘toxic’ and ‘cruel’ in an Twitter post on Wednesday 
  • The actress, who portrayed Cordelia Chase in the drama for four years, claimed Whedon called her fat and fired her after she got pregnant in 2003 
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played titular character Buffy Summers, appeared to validate Carpenter’s claims in her own statement 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, ‘ she wrote 
  • Gellar said she would not make any further comment but added: ‘I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out’ 
  • Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Buffy’s younger sister Dawn on the show, shared Gellar’s post and accused Whedon of ‘very not appropriate behavior’ 
  • ‘What he did was very bad. But we win. By surviving!’ Trachtenberg wrote
  • Castmate Amber Benson chimed in to say: ‘Buffy was a toxic environment’ Whedon, 56, has yet to respond to the allegations of misconduct

Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Anthony Head has expressed disappointment that he was not given the opportunity to support his younger co-stars amid claims of ‘toxic and cruel’ behaviour on set. 

Five cast-members – among them Sarah Michelle Gellar and Charisma Carpenter – have publicly accused show creator Joss Whedon of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ while they worked on the show, which ran for six years between 1997 and 2003.  

Discussing the controversy on Thursday’s edition of This Morning, Head, 66 – best known for his role as Rupert Giles on the show – admitted he was taken aback by the claims. 

 Saddened: Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Anthony Head has expressed disappointment that he was not given the opportunity to support his younger co-stars amid claims of ‘toxic and cruel’ behaviour on set

He said: ‘I’ve been up most of the night thinking what did I miss. This is not a man saying he didn’t see it so it didn’t happen. I am gutted – I am seriously gutted. 

‘One of my fondest memories was that it was so empowering, not just the script, but the family atmosphere on set.’

Notably older than many of his cast-mates on the teen drama, Head also admitted he was disappointed that one one thought to approach him during their time on set. 

Old times: Head played Rupert Giles throughout the show’s hugely successful six-year run between 1997 and 2003

‘I’m really sad people went through these experiences,’ he said. ‘I was like a father figure. I would have hoped someone had come to me to talk about it. 

‘Charisma’s post, the first post was about (spin-off show) Angel and I was long gone, but there are other posts that make me think how on earth did I not know this is going on? 

‘There are ups and downs, highs and lows on shows. People have tempers, everyone has a temper. I’ve heard people shout at the crew. We’ve all heard directors shouting and lead actors shouting at one of his crew for not wearing a mask. What I’m saying is there are highs and lows.’ 

Claims: Charisma Carpenter originally hit out at Whedon in a lengthy Twitter post on Wednesday, claiming he called her fat and killed her character off after she had a baby


Controversy: The 50-year old actress, who portrayed Cordelia Chase on the show for three seasons and in its spin-off Angel, made the allegations in a Wednesday

Carpenter originally hit out at show creator Whedon in a lengthy Twitter post on Wednesday, claiming he called her fat and killed her character off after she had a baby.

The 50-year old actress, who portrayed Cordelia Chase on the show for three seasons and in its spin-off Angel, made the allegations in a Wednesday Twitter post.

Carpenter said she decided to speak out to show solidarity with actor Ray Fisher. Fisher last summer accused Whedon of ‘abuse’ and ‘unacceptable behavior’ while on the set, in 2017, of Justice League. 

‘For nearly two decades,’ she said, ‘I have held my tongue and even made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day. Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.


Speaking out: Carpenter (left, in 1999) claims Whedon would regularly make ‘passive-aggressive’ threats to fire her throughout the filming of the two shows, which she said ‘wreaks havoc on a young actor’s self-esteem’

Trauma: As a result of Whedon’s alleged toxic workplace behavior, Carpenter said she experienced Braxton Hicks contractions, or false labor pains often brought on by stress, during filming in 2003 (She is pictured above with her son)

‘While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers.’

Citing a series of ‘disturbing incidents’, Carpenter claimed her interactions with Whedon, 56, triggered an unspecified ‘chronic physical condition’ that she said she still suffers from today, some 20 years later.

‘Last summer, when Ray Fisher publicly accused Joss of abusive and unprofessional behavior toward the cast and crew during reshoots on the Justice League set in 2017, it gutted me,’ she continued.

‘Joss has a history of being casually cruel. He has created hostile and toxic work environments since his early career. I know because I experienced it first-hand. Repeatedly.’


 Lasting effects: Citing a series of ‘disturbing incidents’, Carpenter claimed her interactions with Whedon triggered an unspecified ‘chronic physical condition’ that she still allegedly suffers from today, some 20 years later

Carpenter claims Whedon would regularly make ‘passive-aggressive’ threats to fire her throughout the filming of the two shows, which she said ‘wreaks havoc on a young actor’s self-esteem.’

The actress further alleged that Whedon would ‘callously’ mock her and call her fat to other members of the cast and crew when she was four months pregnant, despite weighing just 126 lbs, she said.

‘He was mean and biting, disparaging about others openly, and often played favorites, pitting people against one another to compete and vie for his attention and approval,’ Carpenter continued of Whedon.

Corroboration: Gellar appeared to validate Carpenter’s claims in an Instagram post on Wednesday (pictured)

She claimed in one instance Whedon called her in for a sit-down meeting to ‘interrogate and berate’ her regarding a tattoo she had gotten during filming to help her cope with ‘a volatile work climate that affected me physically.’

Carpenter has previously accused Whedon of writing her character off Angel during its fourth season back in 2003 because he was ‘upset’ she had gotten pregnant.

Revisiting that allegation on Wednesday, Carpenter accused Whedon of ‘intentionally refusing multiple calls from my agents making it impossible to connect with him to tell him the news that I was pregnant.’ 

Gellar and three other Buffy the Vampire Slayer stars have spoken out after their castmate Charisma Carpenter accused the show’s creator Joss Whedon of bullying and abuse of power.

Support: Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Buffy’s younger sister Dawn on the show (above together), reposted Gellar’s statement and accused Whedon of ‘very not appropriate behavior’

Getting involved: Trachtenberg’s caption on her repost of Gellar’s statement is shown above

Repost: Trachtenberg also shared Gellar’s statement on her Instagram story, writing: ‘We know what he did. Behind. The. Scenes’

Gellar, who played the supernatural series’ titular character Buffy Summers from 1997 to 2003, appeared to validate Carpenter’s claims in a vague Instagram post on Wednesday afternoon.

‘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, ‘ the 43-year-old actress wrote.

‘I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic right now, so I will not be making any further statements at this time.

‘But I stand with all survivors of abuse and of proud of them for speaking out.’

Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Buffy’s younger sister Dawn on the show, reposted Gellar’s statement and accused Whedon of ‘very not appropriate behavior’.

‘Thank you @sarahmgellar for saying this,’ Trachtenberg wrote in her caption. ‘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….very. Not. Appropriate.’

In a comment she added: ‘What he did was very bad. But we win. By surviving!

Lending her voice: Amber Benson, who played Tara Maclay, chimed in on Twitter, saying: ‘Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top’ 

Success: The popularity of Buffy The Vampire Slayer turned its cast into household names (L-R: Nicholas Brendon, Anthony Head, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Charisma Carpenter and Alyson Hannigan)

Trachtenberg also shared Gellar’s statement on her Instagram story, writing: ‘We know what he did. Behind. The. Scenes.’

Castmate Amber Benson, who played Tara Maclay, chimed in on Twitter, saying: ‘Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top.

‘[Carpenter] 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.’

Emma Caulfield, who played Anya Jenkins, also shared Gellar’s post on Instagram, writing: ‘In the wise words of my friend @sarahmgellar.’

In agreement: Co-star Emma Caulfield also shared Gellar’s post on Wednesday 

Source: Read Full Article