Could there be a Buffy the Vampire Slayer without Sarah Michelle Gellar? Although she wasn’t the first to play the part (credit goes to Kristy Swanson), Gellar, 43, is synonymous with the character, having played Buffy Summers over seven series of the TV show. There has always been talk of a possible reboot, but with Charisma Carpenter’s recent accusations against Buffy’s creator and director Joss Whedon, would she be a part of any Buffy revival? “[I’m a] wee bit long in the tooth for that,” Gellar told Mario Lopez during the Feb. 16 episode of his podcast, On with Mario Lopez.
“What worked for Buffy was that the monsters represented. They were a metaphor for the horrors of adolescence,” she added. “I do think that story lends itself. It’d be interesting to see how a chosen one would deal with that. I don’t think it’s me. I don’t think I should be the one doing it. And, I’m also way too tired and cranky to put in that work again.”
While she didn’t mention Charisma (who played Cordelia Chase on Buffy and the spin-off, Angel) accusing Joss of “abusing his power” on set, Gellar issued a statement on Feb. 10, hours after Charisma, 50, posted her allegations. “While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon,” she posted on Instagram. “I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently, so I will not be making any further statements at this time. But I stand with all survivors of abuse and proud of them for speaking out.” She told Mario Lopez that was the extent of her comments, according to Deadline.
Charisma accused Joss of having a “history of being casually cruel.” She laid out a long list of accusations of abuse and harassment, including how Joss allegedly “created hostile and toxic work environments,” engaged in “ongoing, passive-aggressive threats to fire me,” “attack[ed] my character, mock my religious beliefs, accuse me of sabotaging the show, and then unceremoniously fired me the following season once I gave birth.” Charisma said she came forth with these accusations after Ray Fisher, who made similar accusations against Whedon in 2020, was removed from The Flash movie. “His firing as Cyborg in The Flash was the last straw for me.”
After Charisma went public, her costars voiced their support for her. “Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top. [Charisma] is speaking truth and I support her 100%,” tweeted Amber Benson. “I am here for you to listen and support you,” tweeted David Boreanaz. “Proud of your strength.”