Eliza Dushku is the latest Buffy the Vampire Slayer star to speak out following the allegations against Joss Whedon from many of the stars of the show.
Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase on Buffy and its spinoff Angel, alleged in a lengthy statement on Instagram that Whedon created a “hostile and toxic work environments” and was responsible for “ongoing, passive-aggressive threats” against her.
Carpenter said she had been inspired to speak out by Justice League actor Ray Fisher, who last July alleged that Whedon’s behaviour towards the film’s cast and crew was “abusive, unprofessional and unacceptable.”
Dushku played Faith sporadically on Buffy but did work with Whedon several years later when she led the cast of Dollhouse for two seasons.
Dushku called Carpenter’s statement “powerful, painful and painted a picture we’ll collectively never un-see or un-know.”
“Neglecting to ‘name’ the power/gender/sexual/racial abuse epidemic in the entertainment industry (and for that matter society in general) enables the abusers and only emboldens and ultimately fortifies abusive systems,” the star wrote.
“May you and countless others feel the solidarity and connection you have likely missed for too long. From courage, come change and hope. It starts and will end because of courageous truth-tellers like you.”
Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played Buffy on the series, also opened up about Wednesday’s allegations.
“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.”
“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.”
Anthony Head, who played Giles, responded to the allegations on UK TV show This Morning on Thursday.
“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?'”
“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.”
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.