Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar hopes that the legacy of the show still remains after years of Joss Whedon controversies.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar hopes the legacy of the show will continue. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a supernatural teen drama created by Joss Whedon that ran from 1997 to 2003. Upon its initial release, the show gained high critical acclaim and a huge fan following. However, in recent years, controversies around Whedon have put the show’s positive legacy into question. The show gained scrutiny after Charisma Carpenter alleged a toxic environment on the show and abusive behavior from Whedon. Many stars spoke out and backed up Carpenter’s allegations. Aside from a vague comment about working on a toxic male set during her career, Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s lead star, Gellar, had largely remained silent about the accusations.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gellar addressed Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s controversial legacy, as well as why she hasn’t publicly spoken out about the abuse allegations. During the interview, Gellar opened up about how she returned to the acting industry with her role in Wolf Pack specifically to protect young actors from abuse in the industry. However, she kept her focus largely on the next generation than on herself. While admitting that working on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer wasn’t an ideal situation, she decided not to share her own story and instead hoped that the work of her and her castmates would still be remembered despite the complicated history. Check out her statement below:
Buffy the Vampire’s Controversial Legacy Explained
Allegations of toxicity and workplace abuse on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer didn’t come to light until 2020. Ray Fisher’s allegations of abuse against Whedon on the set of Justice League led to more actors coming forward with their own allegations. Many of the allegations have come from those who worked on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Carpenter was one of the first to speak out about Whedon, calling him “casually cruel.” She detailed several disturbing incidents of him abusing his power on set, including asking if she would carry her child to term.
Other Buffy alums Amber Benson and Michelle Trachtenberg, quickly spoke out in support of the actress. Trachtenberg also called Whedon’s behavior, “not appropriate.” Spike actor James Marsters also detailed a disturbing incident in which Whedon, apparently furious at Marsters’ character’s popularity, pushed him up against a wall and shouted at him. Stunt coordinators Jeff Pruitt and Sophia Crawford also detailed leaving the show because of Whedon’s abuse, with him allegedly trying to break the couple up and threatening their careers.
While Gellar has not come forward with her own allegations, she has briefly addressed Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s controversy before. When the allegations first arose, she released a brief statement reiterating her support of victims of abuse but declined to speak further due to focusing on her family. However, she has hinted at the environment on set by stating that she didn’t want to be associated with Whedon. While Gellar has remained reserved about her experiences on the set of the show, she has always remained firm that she is proud of the work she and her co-stars did. Even though Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a controversial history, it shouldn’t erase the amazing work the cast did despite working in a difficult environment.