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Joss Whedon responds to Buffy and Angel misconduct allegations, explains why he "had" to engage in affairs on Buffy set

  • Whedon discussed the many allegations against him in a lengthy New York magazine cover story, in which writer Lila Shapiro also brought up fresh new accusations. Asked about Charisma Carpenter alleging he was "casually cruel" to her and called her fat during her time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Whedon admitted “I was not mannerly." He added: “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.” Asked if he called her fat, Whedon said: “I did not call her fat. Of course I didn’t.” Whedon was also asked about Michelle Trachtenberg's allegation that she wasn't allowed to be alone with him on set. Whedon had no idea what she was talking about, though it's possible the rule existed without his knowledge. The New York magazine story also reveals a new allegation from Buffy costume designer Cynthia Bergstrom, who alleged “he grabbed my arm and dug in his fingers until his fingernails imprinted the skin and I said, ‘You’re hurting me'" amid a costume dispute between him and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Whedon said he does not “believe” Bergstrom’s story: “I know I would get angry, but I was never physical with people," he said. Also, Whedon was asked about the secret relationship with assistant Erin Shade on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. She alleged he her $2,500 to watch him write at his home over the weekend, so long as she hid the relationship from her bosses. Whedon said he “should have handled the situation better.” Shapiro also brought up allegations made by Whedon's ex-wife Kai Cole that he would engage in affairs on the Buffy set: "On our second day of interviews," Shapiro writes. "I asked Whedon about his affairs on the set of Buffy. He looked worse than he had the day before. His eyes were faintly bloodshot. He hadn’t slept well. 'I feel f*cking terrible about them,' he said. When I pressed him on why, he noted 'it messes up the power dynamic,' but he didn’t expand on that thought. Instead, he quickly added that he had felt he 'had' to sleep with them, that he was 'powerless' to resist. I laughed. 'I’m not actually joking,' he said. He had been surrounded by beautiful young women — the sort of women who had ignored him when he was younger — and he feared if he didn’t have sex with them, he would 'always regret it.' Looking back, he feels shame and 'horror,' he said. I thought of something he had told me earlier. A vampire, he’d said, is the 'exalted outsider,' a creature that feels like 'less than everybody else and also kind of more than everybody else. There’s this insecurity and arrogance. They do a little dance.'"

    TOPICS: Joss Whedon, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Charisma Carpenter, Cynthia Bergstrom, Erin Shade