On February 10, actress Charisma Carpenter issued a statement on social media where she shared her “truth” about working with Buffy The Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon. The actress alleged that the filmmaker “abused his power on numerous occasions” when she starred on Buffy and the subsequent spin-off series, Angel. HollywoodLife reached out to Joss Whedon’s rep for a statement, but have not immediately heard back. HollywoodLife did speak to Charisma’s rep for further clarification, and they confirmed her statement on social media, saying, “It’s her truth.” Read her statement in full below and learn more about the actress with these five facts.
Charisma Carpenter’s Full Statement On Joss Whedon
Charisma took to Twitter and Instagram on February 10 with a lengthy post, alleging that the sets for Buffy and Angel were “toxic work environments.” “For nearly two decades, I have held my tongue ,” she began, “and even made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day.” She gave several accounts of the creator and director’s alleged “abuse of power,” including her description of what went down when she was pregnant on her last season of Angel.
— charisma carpenter (@AllCharisma) February 10, 2021
“Joss intentionally refused multiple calls form my agents making it impossible to connect with him to tell him the news that I was pregnant,” she asserted. “Finally, once Joss was apprised of the situation, he requested a meeting with me. In that closed-door meeting, he asked me if I was ‘going to keep it’ and manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me. 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.”
Later on in her statement, Charisma said that “despite the harassment, a part of me still sought his validation. I made excuses for his behavior and repressed my own pain. I have even stated publicly at conventions that I’d work with him again.” But Charisma credited the rise of the Time’s Up movement as well as actor Ray Fisher‘s own allegations of workplace misconduct against Joss, which were reported during the summer of 2020, as the reason that she is now speaking out.
“It has taken me so long to muster the courage to make this statement publicly. The gravity of it is not lost on me. As a single mother whose family’s livelihood is dependent on my craft, I’m scared. Despite my dear about its impact on my future, I can no longer remain silent. This is overdue and necessary. It is time,” she concluded her statement.
Charisma Carpenter Played An Iconic ‘Buffy’ Character
Charisma rose to fame as Cordelia Chase on the series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which debuted in 1997. The actress appeared in more that 60 episodes of the series before leaving in 1999. She was also a core cast member of the spin-off series Angel, reprising her character from Buffy. Charisma appeared in roughly 90 episodes of Angel between 1999-2004. She was eventually written off the show, and has alleged in her statement that it was due to her pregnancy.
Joss Whedon Addressed Charisma’s Exit In 2003
While speaking with TV Guide in 2003, Joss offered his perspective on Charisma’s exit from Angel. “Mainly because we felt like we had taken that story — just like Buffy for seven years — about as far as it could go. The Angel/Cordelia [love story] had gone pretty much as far as we wanted to take it,” he shared with the outlet in May 2003.
“I’m hoping that we’ll get Charisma to do some episodes as Cordelia sometime during the year,” he continued. “She’s a new mother, so, like Sarah [Michelle Gellar], I’m waiting to hear what her schedule is like. But it just seemed creatively like… I once said that I finally got to tell the story of Buffy that I tried to tell in the movie, and I did it with Cordelia.”
Other TV Shows & Movies She Has Appeared In Since ‘Buffy’ & ‘Angel’
Charisma has had a successful career since appearing in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. She starred as Kendall Casablancas on Veronica Mars from 2005-2006, and in 2010 had a small role in the film The Expendables alongside Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham. She reprised her role in the film’s subsequent sequel, released in 2012. From 2012-2013 she starred on the TV series The Lying Game and has since made guest appearances in TV shows like Chicago P.D., No Good Nick, and Pandora.
Charisma’s Son & Personal Life
Charisma has one child, a son born in March 2003. The actress shares her son, now almost 18 years old, with her former husband Damian Hardy, whom she marred in October 2002. Sadly, Charisma and her husband went their separate ways in 2007 and their divorce was reportedly finalized in July 2008.