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'Buffy' stars back Charisma Carpenter, others alleging misconduct by Joss Whedon

Suzy Exposito
Los Angeles Times (TNS)
From left, Charisma Carpenter,Sarah Michelle Gellar and Joss Whedon. Whedon, the prominent film and TV creator who faced a claim of abusive behavior on the set of "Justice League," has drawncriticism from actors who worked with him on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," including Gellar and Carpenter.

Actor David Boreanaz, who played Angel on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," is the latest cast member to express support for former costar Charisma Carpenter, who alleged misconduct by series producer Joss Whedon.

Carpenter, known for her breakout role as Buffy's high school nemesis Cordelia Chase, accused Whedon of creating a hostile environment on set, which she alleged included retaliatory behavior and harassment during her pregnancy.

"Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel,'" wrote Carpenter last Wednesday in a Twitter thread. "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."

On Sunday, Boreanaz wrote a response to Carpenter's tweet: "I am here for you to listen and support you. Proud of your strength."

"I know you're there for me, David," replied Carpenter. "I appreciate all you've done to demonstrate that support privately as well."

Carpenter initially shared her story in solidarity with actor Ray Fisher, who previously accused Whedon of "gross, abusive" behavior on the set of the 2017 superhero film "Justice League," in which he portrayed DC Extended Universe character Cyborg.

Carpenter also said she participated in WarnerMedia's internal investigation of Whedon, as well as "Justice League" producers Geoff Johns and Jon Berg, which has since concluded.

Johns was formerly DC Entertainment's president and chief creative office, while Berg was formerly Warner Bros.' copresident of production. Both ended those roles as the company reevaluated its approach to DC films following the release of "Justice League."

Warner Bros., which competed its investigation in December, declined to comment beyond an earlier statement.

"The investigation was conducted by an outside law firm and led by a former federal judge," the studio said. "More than 80 people were interviewed. We have full confidence in its thoroughness and integrity, and remedial action has been taken."

A representative for Whedon declined to comment.

Warner Bros. does not own either of Whedon's TV series, which ran in the late 1990s and early 2000s. "Buffy" and "Angel" were owned and distributed by 20th Century Fox Television, now Disney.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played the lead role in "Buffy," responded to the allegations on her Instagram page, writing: "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."

Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Dawn Summers in the series, followed with her own statement against Whedon: "There was a rule. Saying. He's not allowed in a room alone with Michelle again," she wrote in the caption of an Instagram post. Former costar Amber Benson chimed in, stating, "Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top."

On Saturday, Adam Busch, Tom Lenk and Danny Strong, who all played villains in season six of "Buffy," joined the ranks of supporters on Twitter. "I support Charisma, Sarah, Amber & Michelle," wrote Busch. "I admire their courage and leadership. The truth is powerful and it prevails."