Buffy actress Michelle Trachtenberg claims Joss Whedon was ‘not allowed in a room alone with her’ during filming when she was 15 – days after co-star Charisma Carpenter blasted him as ‘toxic and cruel’
- Trachtenberg, 35, was just 14 when she was cast as Buffy’s sister in 2000
- She added the shocking statement to an Instagram post from Wednesday in which she’d shared a statement from Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar
- Gellar appeared to be supportive of co-star Charisma Carpenter who called the show’s creator Joss Whedon ‘toxic’ and ‘cruel’ in a Twitter post on Wednesday
- The actress, who portrayed Cordelia Chase in the drama for four years, claimed Whedon called her fat and fired her after she got pregnant in 2003
- Gellar, 43, posted: ‘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, ‘ she wrote
- Gellar added: ‘I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out’
- Whedon, 56, has yet to respond to the allegations of misconduct
Buffy The Vampire Slayer actress Michelle Trachtenberg has claimed the show’s creator Joss Whedon was ‘not allowed in a room alone’ with her during filming of the show – days after her co-stars spoke out about his alleged bullying and abuse of power.
On Wednesday, Trachtenberg supported her co-stars when they spoke out about the alleged bullying going on behind the scenes of the phenomenally successful TV show – and branded his behavior as ‘Very. Not. Appropriate.’
And on Thursday, she updated the caption to her own Instagram post from the day before and wrote: ‘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.’
Trachtenberg, now 35, was 14 when she was cast on Buffy as Sarah Michelle Gellar’s little sister Dawn Summers in 2000.
Michelle Trachtenberg was 14 when she cast opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy The Vampire Slayer in 2000. She claims there was a rule that show creator Joss Whedon was ‘not allowed in a room alone with’ her, pointedly adding ‘again’
Trachtenberg’s shocking claim was added to her original post as she and other Buffy stars responded to claims by Charisma Carpenter that she’d been bullied and abused by Whedon
After the show’s Charisma Carpenter called out Whedon for his behavior on the show, Gellar posted a statement in support.
Trachtenberg reposted Gellar’s statement and originally wrote: ‘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.’
In a comment, Trachtenberg added: ‘What he did was very bad. But we win. By surviving!’
Trachtenberg previously called out Whedon on Wednesday for ‘not very appropriate’ behaviour’ as she showed support for Carpenter and reposted a statement by Gellar
‘What he did was very bad. But we win. By surviving!’ the actress wrote, adding she’s ‘brave enough now as a 35 year old woman’ to speak out
Gellar starred in the titular role of Buffy for all seven seasons that ran from 1997 to 2003.
After Carpenter went public, Gellar posted a short statement on her social media which read: ‘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.’
Seeming to back Carpenter’s claims, Gellar added: ‘I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic right now, so I will not be making any further statements at this time.
‘But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.’
Whedon, 56, has not publicly responded to the allegations being made against him.
Gellar, 43, issued a statement Wednesday: ‘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’
Gellar, who starred in the titular role of Buffy from 1997 to 2003, appeared to validate Carpenter’s claims when she stated Wednesday: ‘I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out’
The controversy kicked off earlier on Wednesday when Carpenter attacked Whedon in a statement on Twitter, branding him ‘toxic’ and ‘cruel’.
Carpenter, who portrayed Cordelia Chase on Buffy for three seasons and in its spin-off Angel, claimed that Whedon called her fat and killed her character off after she had a baby.
The 50-year-old said she decided to speak out to show solidarity with actor Ray Fisher. Fisher last summer accused Whedon of ‘abuse’ and ‘unacceptable behavior’ while on the set, in 2017, of Justice League.
‘For nearly two decades I have held my tongue and even made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day,’ Carpenter wrote. ‘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.’
Carpenter, who portrayed Cordelia Chase (second from right) in the supernatural drama series for three seasons, spoke out against Whedon in a Twitter post on Wednesday
Carpenter, 50, pictured left in 2019, branded the showrunner as ‘toxic’ and ‘cruel’ and claimed he’d called her fat and threatened to fire her when she got pregnant
Amber Benson, who played Tara Maclay on the show, chimed in on Twitter, saying: ‘Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top’
On Thursday, another Buffy star Elisha Duzku added her support to Carpenter in a heartfelt message. ‘CC, my heart aches for you and I’m so sorry you have held this for so long,’ the 40-year-old wrote on her Instagram
On Thursday, another Buffy star Elisha Duzku added her support to Carpenter in a heartfelt message.
‘CC, my heart aches for you and I’m so sorry you have held this for so long,’ the 40-year-old wrote on her Instagram.
‘Your post was powerful, painful, and painted a picture we’ll collectively never un-see or un-know.’
Dushku who played Faith on the hit shows shared: ‘I frequently think of the saying, ‘we are as sick as our secrets’. Our secrets indeed make and keep us sick.
‘What I’m learning more and more — and have personally found most valuable — is that profound healing can only come from naming and disclosing what actually happened, the necessary first step (once someone’s ready) to freeing ourselves from our secrets, untold truths which have kept us isolated, ashamed, and held hostage.’
The actress concluded: ‘From courage, comes change and hope. It starts and will end because of courageous truth-tellers like you. I admire, respect, and love you.’
Dushku, who played Faith on the hit shows, shared: ‘I frequently think of the saying, ‘we are as sick as our secrets’. Our secrets indeed make and keep us sick’
The actress, 40, concluded: ‘From courage, comes change and hope. It starts and will end because of courageous truth-tellers like you. I admire, respect, and love you’
Amber Benson, who played Tara Maclay, chimed in on Twitter, saying: ‘Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top.
‘[Carpenter] 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.’
Emma Caulfield, who played Anya Jenkins, also shared Gellar’s post on Instagram, writing: ‘In the wise words of my friend @sarahmgellar.’
Citing a series of ‘disturbing incidents’, Carpenter claimed her interactions with Whedon, 56, triggered an unspecified ‘chronic physical condition’ that she said she still suffers from today, some 20 years later.
‘Last summer, when Ray Fisher publicly accused Joss of abusive and unprofessional behavior toward the cast and crew during reshoots on the Justice League set in 2017, it gutted me,’ she continued.
‘Joss has a history of being casually cruel. He has created hostile and toxic work environments since his early career. I know because I experienced it first-hand. Repeatedly.’
Whedon has not yet responded to the allegations made by Carpenter. A DailyMail.com request for comment has so far gone unanswered.
Carpenter (left, in 1999) claims Whedon would regularly make ‘passive-aggressive’ threats to fire her throughout the filming of the two shows, which she said ‘wreaks havoc on a young actor’s self-esteem’
Carpenter claims Whedon would regularly make ‘passive-aggressive’ threats to fire her throughout the filming of the two shows, which she said ‘wreaks havoc on a young actor’s self-esteem.’
The actress further alleged that Whedon would ‘callously’ mock her and call her fat to other members of the cast and crew when she was four months pregnant, despite weighing just 126 lbs, she said.
‘He was mean and biting, disparaging about others openly, and often played favorites, pitting people against one another to compete and vie for his attention and approval,’ Carpenter continued of Whedon.
She claimed in one instance Whedon called her in for a sit-down meeting to ‘interrogate and berate’ her regarding a tattoo she had gotten during filming to help her cope with ‘a volatile work climate that affected me physically.’
Carpenter said she has previously made excuses for Whedon’s alleged behavior, ‘repressed her own pain’ and even, on occasion, publicly stated she would be open to working with him again.
‘Only recently, after years of therapy … do I understand the complexities of this demoralized thinking,’ she wrote.
‘It is impossible to understand the psyche without enduring the abuse. Our society and industry vilify the victims and glorify the abusers for their accomplishments.’
Carpenter said she wished she’d spoken out against Whedon sooner, but said she now hopes she can ‘create space for the healing of others who I know have experienced similar serialized abuses of power.’
Whedon previously addressed the ‘killing off’ of Carpenter’s character in a 2003 interview with TV Guide .
‘We felt like we had taken that story…about as far as it could go. It just seemed like it was time because we were revamping the show, and then pairing it down…it just seemed like a good time for certain people move on,’ he said at the time.
‘For nearly two decades, I have held my tongue and even made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day,’ Carpenter wrote. ‘Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel’
Citing a series of ‘disturbing incidents’, Carpenter claimed her interactions with Whedon triggered an unspecified ‘chronic physical condition’ that she still allegedly suffers from today, some 20 years later
Prior to Carpenter’s Wednesday post, the most recent allegation of toxic workplace behavior against Whedon was made by actor Ray Fisher, who accused him last summer of ‘gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable’ while on the set of Justice League in 2017.
The claims also included allegations that Whedon had attempted to digitally alter the complexion of an actor of color in post-production.
‘What set my soul on fire and forced me to speak out about Joss Whedon this summer was my becoming informed that Joss had ordered that the complexion of an actor of color be changed in post-production because he didn’t like the color of their skin tone,’ Fisher told Forbes.
‘Man, with everything 2020’s been, that was the tipping point for me.’
He went on to add that several characters played by actors of color had their roles significantly cut or eliminated altogether.
Prior to Carpenter’s Wednesday post, the most recent allegation of toxic workplace behavior against Whedon was made by actor Ray Fisher (center), who accused him of ‘gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable’ on the set of Justice League in 2017
Whedon has staunchly denied the claims, saying in a statement to Entertainment Weekly: ‘The individual who offered this statement acknowledged that this was just something that he had heard from someone else and accepted as truth, when in fact simple research would prove that it was false.’
The director continued: ‘As is standard on almost all films, there were numerous people involved with mixing the final product, including the editor, special effects person, composer, etc. with the senior colorist responsible for the final version’s tone, colors, and mood.
‘This process was further complicated on this project by the fact that [original director] Zack [Snyder] shot on film, while Joss shot on digital, which required the team, led by the same senior colorist who has worked on previous films for Zack, to reconcile the two.’
Then in October, Fisher revealed that his Victor Stone/Cyborg character had been removed entirely from the upcoming DC Universe movie, The Flash, amid the tensions.
WarnerMedia investigated the claims made by Fisher last year, announcing in December it was taking ‘remedial action’, though declined to offer specifics.
Carpenter said Wednesday that she recently participated in the investigation, ‘because I believe Ray to be a person of integrity who is telling the truth,’ she said.
‘His firing as Cyborg in The Flash was the last straw for me. Although I am not shocked, I am deeply pained by it. It troubles and saddens me that in 2021 professionals STILL have to choose between whistleblowing in the workplace and job security.’
Fisher replied to Carpenter’s tweet thanking her for speaking out.
‘Charisma Carpenter is one of the bravest people I know. 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,’ the actor wrote.
Weeks later, Fisher then revealed that his Victor Stone/Cyborg character (above) had been removed entirely from the upcoming DC Universe movie, The Flash, amid the tensions
Fisher replied to Carpenter’s tweet on Wednesday thanking her for speaking out
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