Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar has said she ‘doesn’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon’ and has supported her co-stars after they came forward with allegations of abuse against him.
Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase, and Amber Benson, who played Tara Maclay, spoke out against the filmmaker, who created the classic show.
Gellar, who played titular character Buffy Summers, wrote on Instagram: ‘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 comments at this time. But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.’
The 43-year-old actress has two children with her husband, Freddie Prinze Jr – Charlotte and Rocky.
The allegations against Whedon come after Justice League actor Ray Fisher alleged that he cultivated a ‘toxic’ workplace, and Buffy stunt performers Sophia Crawford and Jeff Pruitt accused him of being an ‘egomaniac’ on the set of the TV series.
Carpenter has since supported Fisher in a statement on Twitter, claiming: ‘Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the set 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.’
Benson shared Carpenter’s statement, adding: ‘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. #IStandWithRayFisher #IStandWithCharismaCarpenter.’
Whedon created Buffy and was the showrunner until its final season in 2003. He also directed the first two Avengers movies and co-created Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.