Buffy the Vampire Slayer star accuses Joss Whedon of creating ‘toxic’ work place

Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Charisma Carpenter has accused her former boss Joss Whedon of creating a "hostile and toxic work environment" after their time working together.

Whedon was first accused of abusive behaviour in the summer of 2020, after actor Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in Justice League, claimed he had been racist on the set of the film's re-shoots.

Charisma, who played Cordelia Chase on Buffy between 1997 and 1999, took to Twitter on Wednesday to release a statement in support of Ray Fisher.

In a lengthy statement, the actress, 50, wrote: "For nearly two decades, I have held my tongue and even made excuses for certain events that traumatise me to this day."

She claimed: "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. It is with a beating, heavy heart that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively."

Charisma wrote: "Joss has a history of being casually cruel. He has created hostile and toxic work environments since his early career. I know because I experienced it first-hand. Repeatedly."

She claimed that he threatened to fire her, called her "fat" when she was pregnant, asked her if she was "going to keep" her baby and "weaponised [her] womanhood and faith" against her.

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"He proceeded to attack my character, mock my religious beliefs, accuse me of sabotaging the show, and then unceremoniously fired me the following season once I gave birth," she continued.

Charisma claimed that she was made to report to work at 1am while pregnant – which she labelled "retaliatory" – despite her doctor saying she should shorten her working hours.

She said that due to her "long and physically demanding days and the emotional stress", she experienced Braxton Hicks contractions.

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The Angel star said she felt "powerless and alone", but "swallow the mistreatment and carried on" as she had a baby on the way and was her family's main breadwinner.

Charisma continued: "With tears welling, I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to Ray and others for remaining private about my experience with Joss and the suffering it has caused me.

"It is abundantly evident that Joss has persisted in his harmful actions, continuing to create wreckage in his wake.

"My hope now, by finally coming forward about these experiences, is to create space for the healing of others who I know have experience similar serialised abuses of power."

Charisma explained she took part in WarnerMedia's investigation following Ray's allegations against Joss as she believes the actor.

He was fired as Cyborg in The Flash earlier this year, something Charisma said was, for her, "the last straw".

"Although I am not shocked, I am deeply pained by it," she wrote. "It troubles and saddens me that in 2021 professionals still have to choose between whistleblowing in the workplace and job security."

She finished: "As a single mother whose family's livelihood is dependent on my craft, I'm scared.

"Despite my fear about its impact on my future, I can no longer remain silent."

Amber Benson, who played Tara on Buffy, as well as Buffy actress Sarah Michelle Gellar have publicly supported Charisma following her statement.

Daily Star has contacted a rep for Joss for comment

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