Unless you’ve been living in a cave with only a Betamax video for your entertainment, you will know that Joss Whedon has been at the center of some controversy. There have been multiple allegations of misconduct against him from the productions he oversaw, the biggest being Justice League (2017) and the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


In 2017, in the rise of the #MeToo movement, the director saw allegations of cruel and toxic behavior on the sets of his movies and TV shows. These came from the cast, the crew and even his ex-wife. Gal Gadot and Ray Fisher revealed they had a terrible experience with Whedon, Gadot saying he threatened her career.

Up until now, Whedon has kept silent. He has recently given an in-depth interview with New York magazine. He said:

“I don’t threaten people. Who does that? English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech.”

The old “she’s a foreigner” Defence. Whedon apparently told Gadot that she would have to tie his body to a railroad track before he cut a scene, but she misunderstood and said that he would tie her to the track instead. Gadot’s response was that she understood perfectly.

Whedon was not so gentle about Ray Fisher. It’s well known that Fisher took to social media with comments about what happened on the re-shoots of Justice League. Fisher was angry that his screen time was cut down and, according to Fisher, his skin tone was lightened by Whedon. Fisher said he had spoken to Whedon about his role as Cyborg, and Whedon responded with:

“It feels like I’m taking notes right now, and I don’t like taking notes from anybody — not even Robert Downey Jr.”

Justice League

Whedon told New York that he had brightened the entire movie and had discussed it, at length, with Fisher. Talking about the screen time, Whedon said that Cyborg’s storyline “logically made no sense” and that Fisher’s performance was “lacking”. Whedon said about Fisher:

“We’re talking about a malevolent force.  We’re talking about a bad actor in both senses.”

Talking about the re-writes and re-shoots for Justice League, Whedon had reportedly said that he’s never worked with:

“…a ruder group of people.”

There were also allegations about his conduct on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which included him calling Charisma Carpenter “fat”, when she was pregnant and asking if she was “going to keep it”. Whedon denies this and said of Carpenter:

“Most of my experiences with Charisma were delightful and charming. She struggled sometimes with her lines, but nobody could hit a punch line harder than her.”

One of the costume designers on Buffy said that Whedon had got angry with her and grabbed her arm so hard, that he left bruises. Whedon said he doesn’t believe this, stating:

“I know I would get angry, but I was never physical with people.”

One thing that Whedon did admit to was a secret relationship with Erin Shade, who was an assistant on Marvel’s Agents of Shield. She was 23 and he was 49 and he paid her to watch him write, paying her $2,500, so long as she hid the relationship from her bosses. Whedon said about this:

“I should have handled the situation better.”

Sounds like he should have handled a lot of things better.

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