Charisma Carpenter is speaking out against Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon.
In a lengthy, emotional statement posted online Wednesday, the actress charged Whedon with abusing his power during their time working together on the aforementioned series.
She said Whedon made numerous threats to fire her and efforts to “alienate” her from her peers, while also placing unwarranted work stress on her while she was pregnant.
“For nearly two decades, I have held my tongue and made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day,” opened Carpenter.
“Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. While he found his misconduct 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.
Carpenter starred as Cordelia Chase on Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1997 through 1999 and its spin-off, Angel, until 2004.
She has since made appearances on Sons of Anarchy, Chicago PD, Lucifer and 9-1-1, among other shows.
The actress claimed Whedon would regularly issue “passive-aggressive threats to fire” her and would make public, disparaging comments about her weight in front of fellow coworkers.
Even while she was pregnant.
“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,” Carpenter wrote.
The star alleges that Whedon would purposely call her to set at 1 a.m., just to mess with her, a move that had a negative effect on her health and well-being.
“Back then, I felt powerless and alone,” she says.
“With no other option, I swallowed the mistreatment and carried on.”
In 2020, actor Ray Fisher came forward with allegations against Whedon, claiming the director “was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” while they worked together on Justice League in 2017.
Fisher’s claims prompted an internal investigation, which concluded in December and which resulted in WarnerMedia stating at the time that “remedial action has been taken.”
Carpenter was inspired to come forward now due to Fisher’s bravery.
“With tears welling, I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to Ray and others for remaining private about my experience with Joss and the suffering it has caused me,” Carpenter wrote, adding that she participated in last year’s investigation into the filmmaker.
“It is abundantly evident that Joss has persisted in his harmful actions, continuing to create wreckage in his wake.”
The actress said that she hopes to “create a space for healing” by going public with her own story.
“It has taken so long to muster the courage to make this statement publicly,” Carpenter wrote.
“The gravity of it is not lost on me. As a single mother whose family’s livelihood is dependent on my craft, I’m scared.”
In 2017, Whedon was also accused of engaging in multiple affairs by his then-wife.
A popular fansite dedicated to Whedon shut down in response.
“I can no longer remain silent,” Carpenter added in her statement. “This is overdue and necessary. It is time.”
Fisher later responded on Twitter, referring to Carpenter as “one of the bravest people I know” and writing:
“I am forever grateful for her courage and for her lending her voice to the Justice League investigation. Read her truth. Share her truth. Protect her at all costs.”
Tweeted Amber Benson, who portrayed Tara Maclay on the program;
“Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top.
“@AllCharisma 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.
Finally, Sarah Michelle Gellar, who sky-rocketed to fame due to her lead role as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has sided with her former co-stars.
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.
I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently so I will not be making any further statements.
At this time, but I stand with all survivors of abuse and I’m proud of them for speaking out.”
Whedon has not yet responded to these allegations.
But make no mistake:
His career is rightfully over.