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Charisma Carpenter: Buffy star says post alleging abuse by Joss Whedon was a ‘call to action’

Isobel Lewis
·2-min read

Charisma Carpenter has said that her post alleging she was abused and “harassed” by Joss Whedon was written as a “call to action”.

In February, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer star accused Whedon of “abusing his power” on the set and firing her from spin-off series Angel after she had just given birth.

She was publicly supported by co-stars, including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amber Benson and Michelle Trachtenberg.

Writing a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter about how to be a good ally to victims of abuse, Carpenter – who played Cordelia on both shows – said that she had been “overwhelmed” by the support she had received after speaking out.

“I’m regrettably all too familiar with experiencing physical and mental abuse,” she wrote, detailing other experiences she had had outside of her time working with Whedon.

Richard Cartwright/20th Century Fox Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock
Richard Cartwright/20th Century Fox Tv/Kobal/Shutterstock

“I shared my experiences about my former boss, Joss Whedon, so that we may identify a very real problem that is still happening 20 years later.”

Read more: Buffy fans had heard the Joss Whedon allegations – we didn’t listen

“My open letter is not just trauma unpacking or dumping. It’s a wake-up call. And a call to action. It was written in a concerted effort to foster change.”

As well as sharing a list of ways to show allyship, which includes not “playing devil’s advocate for an abuser”, Carpenter called on employers to hire people who have previously spoken out about abuse.

“Nothing is more isolating and scary than having your ability to feed your family taken away,” she said. “This fear holds people hostage to their suffering and supports a broken system. Stop labelling victims of abuse as the ones who are problematic. The abuser is problematic — not the abused.”

Whedon has not yet responded to Carpenter’s allegations.