Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Nicholas Brendon has shared his thoughts on co-star Charisma Carpenter’s recent allegations involving the show’s creator Joss Whedon.
The Cordelia Chase actress alleged that Whedon created “hostile and toxic work environments” and claimed that he was responsible for “ongoing, passive-aggressive threats” against her.
A number of Buffy stars have since spoken out in support of Carpenter, including Sarah Michelle Gellar, who said she “doesn’t want to be forever associated” with Whedon’s name, as well as David Boreanaz, Eliza Dushku, Amber Benson, Michelle Trachtenberg and James Marsters.
Brendon, who played Xander in all seven seasons of Buffy, has shared a comment in response to Carpenter’s original post. Speaking from a hospital room where he’s preparing for back surgery, he began by talking about his personal relationship with Whedon.
“I mean, unless you know Joss, it’s just kinda, like… Out of this I just hope that growth comes, and healing, and then being a better person and a better people,” Brendon said during a Facebook Live stream. “‘Cause I think that’s what every day is about. You know what I mean? Not beating somebody up.”
He continued: “I mean, were there transgressions? Yeah, there were. To me as well, you know what I mean? It’s like, I had my relationship with Joss as well. And I love him. You take, you know… for me, I took the good, I took the bad… but that’s not everybody.”
Brendon went on to address Carpenter’s claims, saying: “I love and support [Carpenter] very much and I know that story, and it’s not a kind story.”
He then returned to the duality of his relationship with Whedon. “I know my relationship with Joss and it isn’t… there are many… there’s a lot of kindness. But also not, you know?” he said, appearing upset as he spoke. “So it’s kinda hard to give a statement when things are like that. It’s like ‘hey, make a statement.’ My thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s families.”
You can watch Brendon’s statement (starting around the 6:20 mark) below:
The priest just came into my room because I was signing Johnny cash. We prayed Surgery : operation room chat
Posted by Nicholas Brendon on Monday, February 15, 2021
In her original statement, the actress said: “For nearly two decades, I have held my tongue and even made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day. Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.”
She continued: “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 also claimed Whedon had “a history of being casually cruel,” and that he called her “fat” to colleagues while four months pregnant. She also called Whedon “mean and biting” and accused him of “manipulatively [weaponising] my womanhood and faith against me”, and said she participated in the WarnerMedia investigation launched by Justice League‘s Ray Fisher.
She concluded: “It has taken me so long to muster the courage to make this statement publicly. The gravity of it is not lost on me. As a single mother whose family’s livelihood is dependent on my craft, I’m scared.
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 10, 2021
“Despite my fear about its impact on my future, I can no longer remain silent. This is overdue and necessary. It is time.”
NME have contacted Whedon for comment, though he is yet to respond to any of the allegations.