Buffy The Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar has said she “doesn’t want to be forever associated” with Joss Whedon’s name and supported her co-stars after they levelled abuse allegations against him.
Whedon has faced fresh allegations this week from Charisma Carpenter, who portrayed Cordelia Chase, and Amber Benson, who played Tara Maclay.
Gellar, who starred as the show’s eponymous hero 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.”
Whedon, who is yet to respond to the latest allegations, was accused of abusing his power in a series of social media posts earlier this week.
“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.”
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 confirmed that she he participated in the WarnerMedia investigation launched by actor Ray Fisher, who alleged mistreatment at Whedon’s hands on the set of Justice League.
“I believe Ray to be a person of integrity who is telling the truth. His firing as Cyborg in The Flash was the last straw for me,” she said.
“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.”
Carpenter also claimed that Whedon has “a history of being casually cruel”, saying he called her “fat” to colleagues when she was four months pregnant.
Concluding her statement, she wrote: “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.
“Despite my fear about its impact on my future, I can no longer remain silent. This is overdue and necessary. It is time.”
Whedon created Buffy and was the showrunner of the iconic show 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.