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Toxic work environment for Buffy actors

(111 Posts)
Teardrop2021 Thu 11-Feb-21 09:32:44

www.buzzfeednews.com/article/davidmack/buffy-angel-cordelia-charisma-carpenter-joss-whedon. Another Hollywood producer using his role to be an abusive prick. When will still stop and why did it take someone else to speak out for others to follow.

OP’s posts: |
MyGorramShip Thu 11-Feb-21 09:38:23

Charisma has been open about this for years. It was well known when S5 of Angel aired that he had fired her for being pregnant and was an absolute cunt to her about it.

DuchenneParent Thu 11-Feb-21 09:50:40

It's very sad, I grew up obsessed with Buffy, especially as a teenager. I know that there has been speculation for years now that CC's Angel character was killed off in spite because the actress got pregnant, and his ex wife published a statement about his bad behaviour towards her.

Back when Buffy was still on air, I used to read a lot of James Marsters interviews (blame teenage hormones) who I remember always used to tell weird Joss Whedon anecdotes, but laughing them off as funny. Things like, "and then Joss pushed me into the wall and said <twattish thing to say, such as threatening to kill him off>... Hahaha!", and I'm sure most readers would have thought "WTF?". I think people just felt that figures like Joss Whedon were untouchable at the time and that they just had to put up with it.

Some might say that this is a case of judging someone in the past by modern standards, but I think he stood out as behaving like a dick 20 years ago.

Teardrop2021 Thu 11-Feb-21 10:03:58

MyGorramShip I'm talking about the other cast members smg, amber, Michelle, Emma now suddenly speaking up.

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User45643 Thu 11-Feb-21 10:09:07

I put this under TV, agree when I have seen behind the scenes interviews there was often an air of cult of personality about JW
"He told me I had that scene all wrong etc." Something wierdly invasive about him. I still love Buffy-verse's actors.

DifficultBloodyWoman Thu 11-Feb-21 10:21:25

It is such a shame. The Buffy-verse was (still is) awesome. I remember people wearing ‘Joss Whedon is God’ t-shirts and lauding him as the ultimate Hollywood feminist.

He created a wonderful world of fantasy. I’m sorry that he put the actors through so much shit to get there. That is inexcusable. I hope that Hollywood will keep that in mind. JW has done great work but others can do the same without damaging cast and crew.

TheBuffster Fri 12-Feb-21 11:32:13

It's a little disappointing that Antony Stewart Head has come out saying he didn't notice anything. Which means either he didn't notice because it didn't affect him, he did notice but normalised it or he didn't notice because it was hidden from him.

All disturbing In their own way.

Buffy fans sort of gave Joss a free pass for years because they (we!) couldn't reconcile the values Joss set in the show and the values he showed in real life.

In other news James Marsters just got divorced. Talk about bad timing- I'm married now!confused

TerrificEchidnaSpikes Fri 12-Feb-21 11:37:24

In other news James Marsters just got divorced. Talk about bad timing- I'm married now!

Get in line - I saw him first! (Sorry DH).

TheBuffster Fri 12-Feb-21 11:42:19

Perhaps Mumsnet will soon have a very popular Marsterswidowers chat.
He's twice my age and is still lush.

Teardrop2021 Fri 12-Feb-21 23:27:22

I think Anthony head knew but not acknowledging it.just seen James master make announcement about the abuse on Instagram, Nicholas Bredon and David boreanaz have liked the posts from Charisma and SMG.

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Sceptre86 Fri 12-Feb-21 23:38:11

CCexplained how he would belittle actors in front of each other and set them against each other. Being in with Joss at that time was lucrative for actors, SMG profited as did Eliza Dushku due to their close working nature with him. Maybe that's why none if them spoke up at the time.

Teardrop2021 Fri 12-Feb-21 23:40:55

Sceptre86 where did you read this?

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geojellyfish Fri 12-Feb-21 23:49:00

I think Joss created an inner circle and almost clique. Do you remember the cast talking about their singing evenings at Joss's? ASH, James Masters and Alyson Hannigan with Alexis Denisoff were the cast I believed to be especially close with Joss during that time.

geojellyfish Sat 13-Feb-21 00:04:14

Ah, I found this interview with Joss which references his Shakespeare brunches with various actors from his shows, like Amy Acker and the above.

https://www.vulture.com/2013/06/joss-whedon-much-ado-about-nothing-interview.html

LearnedResponse Sat 13-Feb-21 00:08:15

Yes I assume that Denisoff, Hannigan, Fillon and Acker are considering what to say very carefully.

Whedon was so immensely powerful within the Marvel and DC franchises which were jointly propping up the whole Hollywood industry so I’m not going to cast aspersions at anyone who took their time to speak out, especially the ones who might have been “accused” of sleeping with him under duress/for professional advantage - I’m just really glad that Gellar and Trachtenberg have supported Carpenter now.

Even today I don’t think any actresses have openly said that they actually gave sexual favours to Harvey Weinstein even though surely some of them must have, and everyone should know he was an abusive monster who carries 100% of the blame. It’s an unfair world and you don’t want that to be the thing that people know about you.

StillMedusa Sat 13-Feb-21 00:13:22

As a committed Buffy fan (still my go to dvds) it's horrible to read. I'll always love the show but JW ..not now sad

geojellyfish Sat 13-Feb-21 00:13:29

They are taking their time. It must be a tricky situation to be in.

WhereDoMyBluebirdsFly Sat 13-Feb-21 03:09:36

A few years ago I read about how badly Charisma was treated after becoming pregnant. JW rewrote Angel to try to humiliate her, such as her having sex with Connor (Vincent Kartheiser was only a teenager then), full on kissing The Beast, and wearing skin tight latex outfits while heavily pregnant. It sounded completely toxic, and also explains why Angel season 4 was an absolute pile of shite.

I'm glad that some of the cast have spoken up but it's sad that others are noticeably silent. The comments "I didn't notice anything was going on" really reminds me of all the Hollywood men denying any knowledge of Harvey Weinstein being a rapist. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

NiceGerbil Sat 13-Feb-21 03:32:08

This has been floating around for years.

I love Buffy so much.

Awful men can make great TV/ films/ music/write etc

So much of the media seems to have a problem with that and fans as well.

What strikes me is that, as ever. The brunt of it is on a woman to speak, and other women to support.

Time after time. Where are the men in this? I know a chap got sacked after speaking out recently.

But over and over. The men must know. Witness this. Where are they???

Ozgirl75 Sat 13-Feb-21 05:01:28

I can sort of understand people not speaking out at the time.
I was working as a lawyer in a large firm in London in the early 2000s and when I look back, we also had a very toxic atmosphere where gossip was rife, there were multiple affairs going on, some of the partners were absolutely known as gropers but us young women almost laughed it off as part of the job.
There were also favourites and non favourites and it was hard, when you were in favour, not to bask in that as you got the most interesting work and exposure to the best cases etc. You didn’t want to rock the boat because you were very aware of what it was like to fall out of favour.
But the interesting thing is, that at the time I just thought it was normal, I liked my job, kind of enjoyed the gossip and intrigue to be honest. It was a fun place to work, if you were on the right side, and I never felt in danger of the gropey men, I basically just laughed it off, even when one was banished to a different office as his attentions on one girl got out of hand. This was considered an acceptable outcome.
So what I’m saying is, it’s a bit like boiling a frog, you don’t always appreciate what’s going on until you leave (especially as this was the first place I had worked so I had no frame of reference). But now as a middle aged woman I’m appalled at the things that went on (including openly recruiting attractive women as “the clients like it”) etc.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 13-Feb-21 05:31:39

It's been an open secret for years.

Buffy, Angel, Serenity and Firefly are still great TV. It's just as usual, a monster was involved. Monsters it turns out, are everywhere.

Teardrop2021 Sat 13-Feb-21 09:27:32

But plenty of actresses pregnant Candice King got pregnant in the vampire diaries Julie plec was clever enough to write it into the story which utilmately crested a spin off series however she was a woman producer. Care and consideration was taken for one actress and not for another just awful.

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peak2021 Sat 13-Feb-21 11:10:40

There's a difference between saying nothing publicly and not doing anything about what you saw. The latter is what we should be concerned about.

Crackerofdoom Sat 13-Feb-21 11:16:28

I was working as a lawyer in a large firm in London in the early 2000s and when I look back, we also had a very toxic atmosphere where gossip was rife, there were multiple affairs going on, some of the partners were absolutely known as gropers but us young women almost laughed it off as part of the job.

I know what you mean. I worked in PR and professional sport in the early 2000s and I look back at some of the things I just accepted as part of the job.

I wouldn't put up with any of that shit now but I am also probably far too old and mumsy to illicit the sort of behaviour I accepted back then.

Binglebong Sat 13-Feb-21 11:45:40

I suspect ASH would have objected if he'd seen anything (I may be Gilesing him but everything I've ready about him suggests he's a lovely guy) so I suspect it really didn't happen in front of him. If he only heard second hand tales it's a lot easier to believe it wasn't that bad and upset was heightened emotions. And of course people are often (wrongly) embarrassed so wouldn't talk about it. He wasn't on Angel much so won't have seen the most blatant stuff with CC, it sounds as if JW got worse over time.

I think the hardest thing is the show gas such good Feminist credentials. Not perfect by a long way but better than most at that time. So it's hard to square it with what happened.

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