Charisma Carpenter Accuses Joss Whedon Of Abusing His Power On Set Of 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'

Actress Charisma Carpenter accused famed director Whedon of emotional abuse: "Joss was the vampire."

Joss Whedon DFree / Shutterstock

Charisma Carpenter has accused popular director and producer Joss Whedon of bullying and harassment on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The 50-year-old actress took to Twitter and Instagram Wednesday, Feb. 10 to drop the disturbing allegations, posting screenshots of her statement in white font with the simple caption, “my truth.” 

Carpenter, who worked with Joss Whedon on Buffy and the spinoff series Angel between 1997 and 2003, accused the director of creating an uncomfortable, overly-demanding work environment on the sets of both shows, as well as making offensive personal remarks.


She wrote that she had kept quiet about the director’s abusive actions “for nearly two decades,” but that they “traumatize” her “to this day.”

Charisma Carpenter Joss Whedon accusations:

Here's everything to know about the bombshell claims made by Carpenter. 

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“Joss has a history of being casually cruel,” Charisma contended.

The actress characterized the director as “mean and biting,” and claimed that Whedon “often played favorites, pitting people against one another to compete and vie for his attention and approval.”

She cited Whedon’s “ongoing, passive-aggressive threats to fire” her, “disparaging” comments about others, and body shaming during her pregnancy. 


The actress also claimed that Whedon had verbally abused her as an expectant mother.

After learning of her pregnancy, Carpenter wrote that the director “proceeded to attack my character, mock my religious beliefs,” and “accuse of me sabotaging the show.”

She went on to state that she had experienced pregnancy complications due to being overworked and stressed, and that Whedon had refused to recognize her “needs as a working pregnant woman.” 

According to Charisma, the maltreatment continued when Whedon “unceremoniously” fired her shortly after giving birth.

The “promise and joy” were “sucked right out” of her early motherhood, Carpenter claimed.


“And Joss was the vampire.”

Charisma’s statement also addressed the complexities of coming forward with such accusations, as victims are often publicly invalidated and encouraged to ignore or justify the abusive behavior. 

She revealed that she had “made excuses” for the director’s behavior and “repressed” her own suffering. 

“It is impossible to understand the psyche without enduring the abuse,” the actress explained.

This is not the first time Joss Whedon has been accused of inappropriate behavior on set. 

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Carpenter’s post expressed sympathy and solidarity for Ray Fisher, an actor who spoke out against Whedon last year.

Fisher wrote on Twitter in July that Whedon’s behavior on-set of DC’s 2017 film Justice League was “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable.”

The actor did not supply specifics, but fellow cast member Jason Momoa corroborated his story. Fisher was fired shortly after sharing the complaint.

“I believe Ray to be a person of integrity who is telling the truth,” wrote Carpenter. She expressed sadness that people like Fisher lose their jobs as a result of speaking up, and admitted that she was afraid for her own career.


However, “I can no longer remain silent,” the actress declared. She hopes sharing her story will help others heal.

Fisher has since come out in support of Carpenter, calling her “one of the bravest people I know.” 

Fellow Buffy star Amber Benson backed up Charisma’s claims. 

Benson tweeted in response that the show was a “toxic environment,” and inflicted “a lot of damage” on its cast members.


Fans of Buffy have also expressed support for the actress. 

“Cordelia Chase would be proud of you,” one commented on Twitter, referencing Carpenter’s role on the show. “As are we.”

“The character you played has meant a lot to many people,” another wrote. “But you, as a human being, matter so much more.”

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Allie McGlone is a writer who covers a variety of topics for YourTango, including pop culture and entertainment.