Joss Whedon has spoken up about the numerous allegations of abuse and professional misconduct that have been levelled against him from several actors who’d worked with him on shows such as Justice League and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
In an interview with New York magazine on Monday (Jan 17), the filmmaker denied the accusations and gave his side of the story.
Among the many claims is one from Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, who said that Whedon had threatened her career when they worked together on 2017’s Justice League. Whedon took over directing duties on the movie after original director Zack Snyder left the project due to a death in the family.
On this accusation, Whedon claimed that it was all a miscommunication because English was not Gadot’s first language.
“I don’t threaten people. Who does that? English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech,” Whedon said.
Gadot shot back with a response in the article, saying it was untrue: “I understood perfectly.”
Fellow Justice League actor, Ray Fisher, was the first to call out Whedon in a July 2020 social media post where he said that the director’s behaviour on set was “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable”.
Whedon responded to this allegation in the New York article, by calling Fisher “a bad actor” in more ways that one. He said he significantly reduced Fisher’s screen time because his character, Cyborg’s, storyline “logically made no sense” and Fisher’s performance was not up to par.
“We’re talking about a malevolent force. We’re talking about a bad actor in both senses.”
Fisher responded to Whedon’s claims in a tweet, on the same day the article was published. He wrote: “Looks like Joss Whedon got to direct an endgame after all… Rather than address all of the lies and buffoonery today – I will be celebrating the legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tomorrow the work continues.”
Whedon also shot back at Buffy actress Charisma Carpenter, who claimed that the director had called her fat when she was four months pregnant and that he had harassed her about whether she was going to keep the baby.
He denied calling her fat but conceded that he was “not mannerly” after learning she was pregnant. He also said that he had yelled on the set of Buffy and its spinoff, Angel. “I was young. I yelled, and sometimes you had to yell.”
“Most of my experiences with Charisma were delightful and charming,” he added. “She struggled sometimes with her lines, but nobody could hit a punch line harder than her.”
The New York article also included several new allegations against Whedon, which he addressed.