'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' Star Charisma Carpenter Announces Support Of Ray Fisher, Says Joss Whedon Was Abusive And Toxic On Set
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'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' Star Charisma Carpenter Announces Support Of Ray Fisher, Says Joss Whedon Was Abusive And Toxic On Set

Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Charisma Carpenter has released a lengthy statement in support of Ray Fisher’s stance against WarnerMedia and Justice League director Joss Whedon.

Carpenter wrote how she has not spoken about the treatment she endured for almost two decades, writing that she has “held my tongue and even made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day.”

In her statement put on Twitter and Instagram, Carpenter wrote that Whedon has “abused his power on numerous occasions” while they worked together on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. Carpenter wrote that “[w]hile he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers.” She also added that Whedon’s behavior “triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer,” adding that she coped with her condition and other fallout from Whedon’s behavior “in isolation and, at times, destructively.”

Carpenter wrote that she was “gutted” when Fisher came out against Whedon’s behavior.

“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,” she wrote. “Like is ongoing, passive-aggressive threats to fire me, which wreaks havoc on a young actor’s self-esteem. And callously calling me ‘fat’ to colleagues when I was 4 months pregnant, weighing 126 lbs. 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 recalled a moment when Whedon asked her for a sit-down meeting, only to “interrogate and berate” her because of a rosary tattoo she’d gotten to help her cope with her toxic work environment. She also wrote how Whedon refused to answer her agents’ calls, which made it hard to let Whedon know about her pregnancy. Once he did know, Whedon asked her if she was “going to keep it” and “manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith” against her.

“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.”

Before her firing, however, Carpenter was asked to come into work at one in the morning despite her doctor’s advice to shorten her working time. The stress Whedon placed on her, plus the long working hours, caused her to have Braxton Hicks contractions.

Even though she felt “powerless and alone,” she wrote she felt she couldn’t leave her job because she wanted to provide for her baby and she was the primary source of income for her family. She also wrote how part of her still wanted his validation, causing her to make excuses for his bad behavior.

“Only recently, after years of therapy and a wake up call from the Time’s Up movement, 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. The onus is on the abused with an expectation to accept and adapt to be employable. No accountability on the transgressor who sails on unscathed. Unrepentant. Remorseless.”

Carpenter wrote how she feels “an overwhelming sense of responsibility to Ray and others” for keeping silent about Whedon’s treatment, but she hopes that her statements will help others who have experienced Whedon’s abuse to heal. She also admitted that she has participated in WarnerMedia’s investigation into Fisher’s allegations.

“I believe Ray to be a person of integrity who is telling the truth,” she said as to why she agreed to take part in the investigation. “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 has yet to comment on Carpenter’s statement, but Tuesday night, he did issue a tweet regarding DC Films president Walter Hamada, who Fisher alleged is also part of DC’s cabal of bad intent by enabling Whedon and producers Jon Berg and Geoff Johns.

“Walter Hamada still owes an apology to the participants of the Justice League investivation,” he wrote.

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