Many of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer stars have spoken out on abuse allegations against Joss Whedon, with series actress Amber Benson confirming that the show did have a "toxic environment." Benson's remark came after her former co-star Charisma Carpenter issued a lengthy statement, claiming Whedon — the show's creator — had been abusive toward her mentally, emotionally, and verbally. Benson stood firmly with Carpenter, stating that there was "truth" to the allegations, and that "a lot of damage" had been done to multiple Buffy cast members.
In her statement, Carpenter alleged that Whedon misused his power as the show's creator by regularly manipulating her when he was dissatisfied with circumstances. She claimed that at one point he even was dismissive of her pregnancy news, instead of being happy Carpenter said that Whedon used it to accuse her of trying to sabotage the series. "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." Notably, Carpenter replied to Benson's post, writing, "I love you. Your courage and support has proven to be a powerful inspiration and safe harbor."
Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top. @AllCharisma is speaking truth and I support her 100%. There was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it twenty plus years later. #IStandWithRayFisher #IStandWithCharismaCarpenter https://t.co/WJAmDGm76C— Amber Benson (@amber_benson) February 10, 2021
In addition to Benson, Buffy actress Eliza Dushku also issued a statement showing support for Carpenter. "My heart aches for you & I'm so sorry you have held this for so long," Dushku wrote. "Your post was powerful, painful, and painted a picture we'll collectively never un-see or un-know. Thank you. I hadn't known it and I won't forget it."
"May you and countless others feel the solidarity and connection you have likely missed for too long," the actress went on to say. "From courage, come change and hope. It starts and will end because of courageous truth-tellers like you. I admire, respect, and love you."
Dushku added, "Profound healing can only come from naming and disclosing what actually happened, the necessary first step (once someone's ready) to freeing ourselves from our secrets, untold truths which have kept us isolated, ashamed, and held hostage." She also stated, "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."