Buffy Star Trachtenberg: Whedon Wasn't Allowed in Room Alone with Her
Only a day after Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel star Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia) went public with accusations against Joss Whedon of years of unprofessional and abusive behavior and series stars Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), Amber Benson (Tara Maclay), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Anthony Head (Rupert Giles) voiced their support, the story took a disturbing turn late Thursday. Trachtenberg returned to her Instagram post to update the caption with a claim that there was a rule on set that Whedon was not allowed in a room alone with Trachtenberg.
Trachtenberg's original post read, "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….very. Not. Appropriate. So now. People know. What Joss. Did." The caption was then revised to include the following addition: "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." Born October 11, 1985 (according to IMDB), Trachtenberg appeared on Buffy between 2000-2003- which would put the actress between the ages of 14-15 when she first started filming the series.
In the comments section, Trachtenberg responded to someone hoping she was subjected to Whedon's alleged abuse by confirming that she had: "I was subjected. To a lot" and following that in another comment with "what he did was very bad":
After "nearly two decades" before speaking up, Carpenter claimed in her social media posts, "Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working on the sets of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel.' While he found his conduct 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." You can read Carpenter's entire statement below, where the actress goes on to offer examples of her allegations as well as revealing that she took part in WarnerMedia's investigation into Fisher's claims.
Here's a look at the Buffy and Angel star's original tweets from earlier today:
On July 1, 2020, Fisher aka Cyborg took to Twitter to accuse Whedon of being abusive on the 2017 set not long after Whedon took over from Zack Snyder (who left the production due to a family tragedy), and that two other executives helped enable Whedon's alleged actions. WarnerMedia opened an investigation into Fisher's allegations, but in early September the company claimed that Fished wasn't cooperating with third-party investigators Fisher denied those claims, while friends co-stars such as Jason Mamoa began publically supporting Fisher and demanding WarnerMedia take action.
Then on November 24, word came down from Whedon that he was stepping away from his upcoming HBO series The Nevers. Whedon cited "the level of commitment required moving forward, combined with the physical challenges of making such a huge show during a global pandemic" as being a major factor in his decision. "This year of unprecedented challenges has impacted my life and perspective in ways I could never have imagined, and while developing and producing the Nevers has been a joyful experience, I realize that the level of commitment required moving forward, combined with the physical challenges of making such a huge show during a global pandemic, is more than I can handle without the work beginning to suffer. I am genuinely exhausted and am stepping back to martial my energy towards my own life, which is also at the brink of exciting change," Whedon wrote in his own statement. HBO confirmed in a brief statement that it had parted ways with the show's creator, writer, director, executive producer, and showrunner. "We have parted ways with Joss Whedon. We remain excited about the future of The Nevers and look forward to its premiere," wrote the cable network in a statement.