All the abuse allegations against Buffy, Angel and Marvel director

Joss Whedon was a hero for a generation of young fans in the late 90s: the mastermind behind the cult classic TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a rollicking, blackly comic supernatural drama that was far smarter than most other teen TV fare.

Whedon went on to other projects – the spin-off Angel, sci-fi series Firefly, horror movie Cabin in the Woods and two Avengers films – but his name remained forever linked to Buffy, which made overnight stars out of its young female cast.

Now, those same cast members are coming forward to speak out against Whedon, alleging that he did “very bad things” on set. They join a growing list of people taking a stand against the director, including the stars of his most recent film project Justice League, and his own ex-wife, who penned a scathing essay about him after their break-up.


Whedon married architect Kai Cole in 1995. In 2017, a year after their divorce was finalised, Cole took the unprecedented step of penning a scathing essay slamming her ex-husband for his behaviour throughout their 15-year relationship.

“He hid multiple affairs and a number of inappropriate emotional ones that he had with his actresses, co-workers, fans and friends, while he stayed married to me,” Cole wrote in a piece published on The Wrap.

“He deceived me for 15 years so he could have everything he wanted. I believed, everyone believed, that he was one of the good guys, committed to fighting for women’s rights, committed to our marriage, and to the women he worked with.

“But I now see how he used his relationship with me as a shield, both during and after our marriage, so no one would question his relationships with other women or scrutinise his writing as anything other than feminist.”

Cole said that she was only going public with the allegations because she felt “compelled to go on the record and clear up some misconceptions. I don’t think it is fair to me or other women to remain silent any longer.”

She said Whedon’s alleged affairs were evidence of his “hypocrisy” as a feminist ally.

“Until recently, Joss was still letting the illusion of our marriage stay intact. Now that it is finally public, I want to let women know that he is not who he pretends to be. I want the people who worship him to know he is human, and the organisations giving him awards for is feminist work to think twice in the future about honouring a man who does not practice what he preaches,” she wrote.

“Despite understanding, on some level, that what he was doing was wrong, he never conceded the hypocrisy of being out in the world preaching feminist ideals, while at the same time, taking away my right to make choices for my life and my body based on the truth.”

At the time, a spokesman for Whedon told The Wrap that Cole’s account “includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations” but that the director would not be commenting out of concern for his children and ex-wife.


Buffy and Angel star Charisma Carpenter was the first cast member to speak out against Whedon today, issuing a detailed statement accusing the director of having “abused his power” amid numerous “disturbing incidents.”

“While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers,” she wrote.

She claimed that Whedon “manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me. He proceeded to attack my character, mock my religious beliefs, accuse me of sabotaging the show, and then unceremoniously fired me the following season once I gave birth.”

From there, the floodgates opened. Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar issued a short statement explaining that, “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.”

Co-star Michelle Trachtenberg went further: “What he did was very bad. But we win. By surviving! We know what he did. Behind. The. Scenes.”

Fellow Buffy star Amber Benson said the show was “a toxic environment and it starts at the top. Charisma 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.”


Carpenter explained that her decision to speak out was sparked by Justice League actor Ray Fisher’s alleged mistreatment by Whedon.

Fisher accused the director of “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behaviour on the set of the 2017 movie, in which he played Victor Stone / Cyborg.

Co-stars including Jason Momoa spoke out in his defence: “Serious stuff went down. It needs to be investigated and people need to be held accountable,” Momoa wrote.

Fisher went further during a fan convention online panel: “Obviously I put out some pretty strong words and some strong comments about Joss Whedon, and every single one of those words, every single one of those comments, is true.

“It’s taken me two and a half years to get all the information I need to be able to build something that’s strong enough so people can’t dismiss it.”

RELATED: The Ray Fisher / Joss Whedon saga explained

Co-star Gal Gadot explained that she had less to do with Whedon, who was drafted in to complete the movie when original director Zack Snyder had to drop out due to the death of his daughter. However, she said her experience with Whedon “wasn’t the best.”

“I’m happy for Ray to go out and speak his truth,” Gadot told LA Times. “I wasn’t there with the guys when they shot with Joss Whedon — I had my own experience with [him], which wasn’t the best one, but I took care of it there and when it happened I took it to the higher-ups and they took care of it. But I’m happy for Ray to go up and say his truth.”

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