Anthony Head is opening up about the claims of toxic behavior made against Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon.
This week, Charisma Carpenter, Amber Benson, and Michelle Trachtenberg all alleged that Whedon created a hostile working environment on the show.
Speaking to ITV’s This Morning presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, Head, who played Giles on the show for seven seasons, revealed he had no idea of the allegations at the time he was on the series, but feels “gutted” about learning them now.
“I’ve been up most of the night just running through my memories, thinking, ‘What did I miss?'” he said.
“Because, and this is not a man saying: ‘I didn’t see it, so it didn’t happen’. “I am gutted, seriously gutted, because one of my memories, my fondest memory [from Buffy] is the fact it was so empowering.”
“Not just in the words in the script, but the family feel of the show.”
Head continued: “I am really sad that if people went through these experiences – I was sort of like a father figure – I would hope that someone would come to me and say, ‘I’m struggling, I’ve just had a horrible conversation.’
“Admittedly, the first post by Charisma was when she was working on Angel, and I was long gone. But there are other posts subsequently that are making me think, ‘How on earth did I not know this was going on?'”
Carpenter — who starred as Cordelia Chase on Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1997 to 1999 and its spinoff series Angel until 2004 — accused Whedon of making repeated threats to fire her and efforts to “alienate” her from her co-stars, as well as causing problems on the set while she was pregnant.
“For nearly two decades, I have held my tongue and made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day,” Carpenter began in her statement, which was released on Wednesday.
“Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets 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,” Carpenter added.
“It is with a beating, heavy heard that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively.”
“Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top. @AllCharisma is speaking truth and I support her 100%,” said fellow Buffy actress Amber Benson.
“There was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it twenty plus years later. #IStandWithRayFisher #IStandWithCharismaCarpenter.”
Meanwhile, Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played the title role on Buffy, shared the following:
“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,” Gellar wrote on Instagram.
“I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently, so I will not be making any further statements at this time. But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out,” Gellar continued.
Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Buffy’s sister, Dawn, responded with the following:
“Thank you @sarahmgellar for saying this. I am brave enough now as a 35 year old woman….To repost this,” she wrote in the post.
“Because. This must. Be known. As a teenager. With his not appropriate behavior….very. Not. Appropriate.”
“We know what he did,” Trachtenberg captioned the post. “Behind. The. Scenes.”
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.