Joss Whedon Offers "Buffy" Reax: "Sometimes You Had to Yell" & More

Okay, just to be clear? When we wrote in our article earlier today "Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Can There Be a Post-Joss Whedon TV Future?", we speculated that we would be hearing from Joss Whedon sooner rather than later because his ego wouldn't allow him to keep quiet. We also believed that there was a very good chance he would go the "victim" route in an attempt to restore his pop culture credibility. Did we expect that "sooner" to be today and come in the form of the article "The Undoing of Joss Whedon" by Lila Shapiro for New York Magazine? Definitely not but that's exactly what we got.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Can There Be a Post-Joss Whedon TV Future?
Image: WBTV

Back in February 2021, BtVS & Angel star Charisma Carpenter went public with accusations against Whedon that involved years of unprofessional and abusive behavior. Carpenter's posts would bring a number of others who had worked with Whedon in the past to offer Carpenter support and/or share their own allegations against him, including Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn Summers), Amber Benson (Tara Maclay), Emma Caulfield (Anya), Anthony Head (Rupert Giles), Eliza Dushku (Faith), James Marsters (Spike), J. August Richards (Charles Gunn) & more.

In the midst of the accusations, HBO would end up parting ways with Whedon on his sci-fi & adventure series The Nevers (with Little Ashes' Philippa Goslett aboard as the new showrunner). But since that time? On the Whedon front, not surprisingly things had been very, very quiet- until today. Here's a look at some of the Buffy-related "highlights" that stood out the most to us in the lengthy profile piece (and for a look back at our past coverage, head on over to here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here):

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Can There Be a Post-Joss Whedon TV Future?
Image: WBTV

"Dollhouse" Actress Echoes a Sentiment Many Have About Whedon: "I saw his kindness and his good intentions, and I also saw the snarkiness, the fickleness, where I would not want to be on the other side." – Miracle Laurie

"Buffy" Costume Designer Recalls Physical Interaction with Whedon: Series costume designer Cynthia Bergstrom recalls an incident during the filming of the fifth season that took place over Whedon and Gellar disagreeing over what a "Buffy-bot" should wear in one episode. "Sarah was adamant about it being a certain way. The costume she wanted was a bit grandma-ish — a pleated skirt and high neck. He [Whedon] definitely wanted it to be sexier," Bergstrom explained. But on the day of filming, things got heated as Whedon reportedly became frustrated, "I was like, 'Joss, let's just get her dressed.' He grabbed my arm and dug in his fingers until his fingernails imprinted the skin and I said, 'You're hurting me.'" Whedon pushed back on the claim in the interview, saying, "I don't believe that. I know I would get angry, but I was never physical with people."

"I Yelled, and Sometimes You Had to Yell": Though willing to acknowledge that he was not as "civilized" back when he was working on Buffy and Angel, Whedon tries to make the case that sometimes it was needed. "I was young. I yelled, and sometimes you had to yell. This was a very young cast, and it was easy for everything to turn into a cocktail party." Though Whedon doesn't see himself as someone who would ever intentionally humiliate someone: "If I am upsetting somebody, it will be a problem for me."

Whedon See His Relationship with Carpenter Differently: Though admitting he "was not mannerly," Whedon appears to have a different take on his relationship with Carpenter. "Most of my experiences with Charisma were delightful and charming. She struggled sometimes with her lines, but nobody could hit a punch line harder than her" (though that "struggled" part screams passive-aggressive).

Whedon's On-Set Affairs Weren't Something He Wanted to Do, They Were What He "Had" to Do: When asked about the on-set affairs during production on Buffy, Whedon claimed, "I feel fucking terrible about them" before offering "it messes up the power dynamic" as the reason. As for his reasons? Whedon claims he felt like he "had" to sleep with them and that he was "powerless" to resist (even offering "I'm not actually joking" when the interviewer thought it was a joke) because if not? He would "always regret it."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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