Joss Whedon "was not mannerly" with Charisma Carpenter but insisted he "did not call her fat"
The 57-year-old director - who worked with the 51-year-old actress on 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' - has responded to her claims he created a "toxic" atmosphere on set and "abused his power" on the programme, as well as commenting on her weight when she was four months pregnant.
20 January 2022
Reflecting on how he spoke to her after finding out she was pregnant, he told New York magazine: "I was not mannerly."
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However, 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."
And asked directly if he called the actress "fat" while she was pregnant, he replied: "I did not call her fat. Of course I didn't."
He also addressed her claims of a volatile work environment, and admitted he wasn't as "civilised" as the time.
He said: "I was young. I yelled, and sometimes you had to yell. This was a very young cast, and it was easy for everything to turn into a cocktail party."
He insisted he wouldn't intentionally humiliate anyone on set, noting that would "be a problem".
He added: "If I am upsetting somebody, it will be a problem for me."
In her original social media post last year, Charisma accused Whedon of "abusing his power" as the show's creator and ex ecutive producer.
She wrote: "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. (sic)"
She also claimed he would often try to "pit" cast members against each other to "compete and vie for his attention and approval".
She added: "He created hostile and toxic work environments since his early career. I know because I experienced it first-hand. Repeatedly.
Like his ongoing, passive-aggressive threats to fire me, which wreaks havoc on a young actor's self-esteem.
"And callously calling me "fat" to colleagues when I was four months pregnant, weighing 126lbs. He was mean and biting, disparaging about others openly, and often played favorites, pitting people against one another to compete and vie for his attention and approval. (sic)"