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Actors from Charisma Carpenter to Ray Fisher have alleged Whedon behaved poorly on set.
The allegations are mostly from his time on "Buffy" (1997-2003) and "Justice League" (2017).
Whedon was also accused of threatening to harm Gal Gadot's career while directing "Justice League."
In less than a year, writer-director Joss Whedon has gone from a Hollywood A-lister known for writing strong-willed female characters to the latest example of a person in the industry accused of abusing their power.
Whedon is best known as the creator of popular TV series like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," its spin-off "Angel," and "Firefly," as well as directing hit blockbuster movies "The Avengers" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Now, Whedon has been accused by numerous actors of unacceptable behavior on set.
What pushed the floodgates opened was a July 2020 tweet by Ray Fisher, who plays Cyborg in "Justice League," calling out Whedon's behavior after he took over the movie from Zack Snyder.
Here's a timeline of Whedon's recent controversies.
Whedon first faced public scrutiny after his portrayal of Black Widow in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' was labeled misogynistic in 2015
Up to this point in his career, Whedon's reputation in Hollywood was that he was a major feminist voice in the industry. He was known for creating strong female characters, especially on his hit show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003).
However, the release of "Avengers: Ave of Ultron" in 2015 threw that reputation into question.
The sequel to Whedon's hugely successful "The Avengers" showcases Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow character as a sexy caretaker to Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo). In one lambasted scene, she tells the man known for turning into the Hulk that she's a monster too - because she can't have children.
Whedon left Twitter soon after the release of the movie. However, he told BuzzFeed it was "horse----" for people to think it was over that.
"Every breed of feminism is attacking every other breed, and every subsection of liberalism is always busy attacking another subsection of liberalism, because god forbid they should all band together and actually fight for the cause," he said.
"Age of Ultron" would mark the last time Whedon would direct a Marvel movie.
In June 2017, Whedon's scrapped 2006 'Wonder Woman' script leaked online. Fans called it 'sexist.'
Many fans who read Whedon's unmade 2006 "Wonder Woman" script after it leaked called it "sexist." In the script, Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman leans heavily on her male co-star and love interest, Steve Trevor.
A year after the leak, Whedon told Vanity Fair he thought his script was "great."
"I don't know which parts people didn't like but I went and re-read the script after I heard there was a backlash. I think it's great," Whedon said. "People say that it's not woke enough. I think they're not looking at the big picture. It's easy to take one phrase out of context, and [I wasn't] the most woke individual who ever lived at that time, 10 years ago. But I was in there swinging and the movie has integrity and the characters have integrity and I stand by it."
A few months later, Whedon's ex-wife Kai Cole publicly accused Whedon of having 'secret' affairs on the 'Buffy' set
In a guest blog for The Wrap in November 2017, titled "Joss Whedon Is a Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals," Cole wrote Whedon had affairs on the set of "Buffy" when they were married.
Cole also claims that after their marriage was over, Whedon came clean, writing to her: "When I was running 'Buffy,' I was surrounded by beautiful, needy, aggressive young women. It felt like I had a disease, like something from a Greek myth. Suddenly I am a powerful producer and the world is laid out at my feet and I can't touch it."
Cole said that Whedon also admitted that "he hid multiple affairs and a number of inappropriate emotional ones that he had with his actresses, co-workers, fans, and friends, while he stayed married to me."
Whedon's rep responded with this statement: "While this account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations which can be harmful to their family, Joss is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife."
On July 1, 2020, actor Ray Fisher tweeted that Whedon was 'gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable' on the set of 'Justice League'
After the exit of Zack Snyder on "Justice League" due to the death of his daughter, Whedon, who was already doing rewrites on the movie, was brought on to direct.
Whedon's reshoots massively altered Snyder's vision. The movie opened in 2017 and was a critical and box office bust.
In July of 2020, actor Ray Fisher - who plays Cyborg in the film - accused Whedon of bad behavior on set.
"Joss Whedon's on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable," Fisher tweeted.
Fisher's tweet was the first indication that Whedon at the helm of "Justice League" was a disaster.
Later that month, a stunt woman and stunt coordinator on 'Buffy' - who were dating during the making of the series - claimed Whedon demanded they break up or leave the show
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" stunt coordinator Josh Pruitt as well as Sophia Crawford, who worked as Sarah Michelle Gellar's stunt double for the first four seasons on the show, told Metro in July 2020 that they left the show after an ultimatum by Whedon to either end their relationship or leave the series.
"He went from the humble writer who used to turn to me for ways to shoot fight scenes into a real egomaniac who believed his own hype," Pruitt said. "Then again, maybe he was always that way and I was simply too naive to see it as he never showed that side to me before."
According to Pruitt, Whedon told him and Crawford that "no one will ever hire you again after this."
On July 14, 2020, actor James Marsters told a story about Whedon backing him into a wall on the set of 'Buffy'
Marsters, who played the popular vampire villain-turned-love-interest Spike, said on the "Inside of You" podcast that Whedon once backed him up against a wall.
"I came along and I wasn't designed to be a romantic character, but then the audience reacted that way to it," Marsters said. "And I remember he backed me up against a wall one day and he was just like, 'I don't care how popular you are, kid, you're dead. You hear me? Dead. Dead!' And I was just like, 'Uh, you know, it's your football, man. OK.'"
Marsters' Spike character had an on-and-off relationship with Buffy from season two to the end of the series, something Marsters said Whedon never intended.
The actor said Whedon never apologized to him about the incident.
In September of 2020, Jason Momoa said the 'Justice League' cast was treated 's---ty'
Momoa was the first "Justice League" cast member to back up Fisher's earlier claims of Whedon's behavior on set of the film.
"This s--- has to stop and needs to be looked at @ray8fisher and everyone else who experienced what happened under the watch of @wbpictures needs proper investigation," Momoa wrote in his Instagram post.
Momoa, who plays Aquaman in "Justice League," also claimed that news announcing he was voicing Frosty the Snowman in a Warner Bros. live-action movie on the Christmas character was "fake" and purposely announced on the same day that Fisher tweeted out about Whedon.
"I just think it's f---ed up that people released a fake Frosty announcement without my permission to try to distract from Ray Fisher speaking up about the s---ty way we were treated on 'Justice League' reshoots."
"Serious stuff went down," Momoa continued. "It needs to be investigated and people need to be held accountable."
WarnerMedia conducting an investigation of Whedon's behavior. In December, the result of that investigation was said to have led to "remedial action."
In December 2020, Gal Gadot said her experience working with Whedon on 'Justice League' 'wasn't the best'
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Gadot revealed that she had an issue with Whedon, but unlike Fisher, her issue was taken care of, she said.
"I'm happy for Ray to go out and speak his truth," Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman in "Justice League," told the paper. "I wasn't there with the guys when they shot with Joss Whedon - I had my own experience with [him], which wasn't the best one, but I took care of it there and when it happened I took it to the higher-ups and they took care of it."
We would later learn what exactly led to the clash between Gadot and Whedon.
'Buffy' star Charisma Carpenter accused Joss Whedon on February 10, 2021, of abusing his power on the show
Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase on the show and its spin-off, "Angel," pubicly accused Whedon of abusing his power in a statement on Twitter.
"Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working on the sets of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel,'" Carpenter wrote in her statement. "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 said it was Fisher speaking out about Whedon that led to her finally doing the same. She said she also took part in the WarnerMedia investigation of Whedon's behavior on the set of "Justice League."
Looking back on her experience working under Whedon, the actress said, "the disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer."
"Like his ongoing, passive-aggressive threats to fire me, which wreak havoc on a young actor's self-esteem," Carpenter wrote. "And callously calling me 'fat' to my 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 went on to give details about her experience with Whedon once she told him she was pregnant.
"In that closed door meeting, he asked me if I was 'going to keep it' and manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me," she said.
"At six months pregnant, I was asked to report to work at 1:00am after my doctor recommended shortening my work hours," she continued. "Due to long and physically demanding days and the emotional stress of having to defend my needs as a working pregnant woman, I began to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. It was clear to me the 1:00am call was retaliatory."
Whedon has never responded to Carpenter's claims.
A day later, 'Buffy' star Michelle Trachtenberg revealed Joss Whedon was not allowed to be alone with her on set
In a reply to Gellar's Instagram post supporting Carpenter speaking out about Whedon, Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Dawn Summers on "Buffy," revealed that there was an on-set rule that Whedon wasn't allowed to be in a room alone with her.
"I am now brave enough now as a 35 year old woman… to repost this," Trachtenberg wrote. "Because. This must. Be known. As a teenager. With his not appropriate behavior… very. Not. Appropriate. So now. People know. What. Joss. Did."
Trachtenberg later added: "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."
Whedon has not responded to Trachtenberg's claim.
In March 2021, 'Justice League' producer Deborah Snyder said she reported an inappropriate incident involving Whedon to Warner Bros.
It turns out before Fisher's tweet about Whedon, Warner Bros., the studio that released "Justice League," was aware of the director's behavior on set.
Deborah Snyder, the wife of Zack Snyder and his producing partner, told Insider that she was informed of an inappropriate incident involving Whedon before the movie's theatrical release in 2017.
"There was one incident I was aware of that I had reported back to the studio right before the movie came out," she said. "I went to the higher-ups that someone came to me about Joss."
"I think it was resolved in a way that the person was happy with," Snyder continued. "That's all I can really say."
WarnerMedia confirmed Snyder's report to Insider but had no further comment. Reps for Whedon declined to comment.
In April 2021, an explosive report claimed Whedon had threatened to harm Gal Gadot's career if she didn't say the lines he wrote for 'Justice League' reshoots
In an explosive story in The Hollywood Reporter, Fisher went on the record for the first time about the allegations he made against Whedon. In the story, a source also claimed the director threatened to harm Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot's career.
Sources told the trade that Gadot pushed back on lines Whedon wanted her to say, which led to a confrontation.
"Joss was bragging that he's had it out with Gal," a witness on the set told THR. "He told her he's the writer and she's going to shut up and say the lines and he can make her look incredibly stupid in this movie."
Citing a knowledgeable source, THR said that Gadot and "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins "went to battle" with Whedon, which led to a sitdown with then-Warner Bros. Chairman Kevin Tsujihara.
Gadot told THR in a statement: "I had my issues with [Whedon] and Warner Bros. handled it in a timely manner."
Read the original article on Insider