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The problematic Joss Whedon


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There was some discussion of Joss Whedon in the Justice League thread with Cyborg actor Ray Fisher accusing him of being unprofessional and a bit of a twat to members of the cast and crew. Most notably the scene in which The Flash lands on Wonder Womans breasts (lolz). Gal Gadot didn't want to do it, Joss Whedon made a stunt double do it in her place.

 

Now a bunch of stuff has been unearthed and come to light. There were the old issues with his wife calling him a hypocrite preaching feminist ideals, then there was Charisma Carpenter saying when she got pregnant Joss basically wanted her fired. And now the latest is from former stunt people on Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

 

https://metro.co.uk/2020/07/12/egomaniac-joss-whedon-faces-claims-buffy-stunt-double-12942160/

 

Avengers is still one of my favourite superhero movies. And I was planning a rewatch of Buffy, but this all makes it a little sour. It hasn't quite reached the heights of being unable to watch Firefly because of Adam Baldwin, but it's close. Why does everyone you like turn out to be an (alleged) piece of shit? :(

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This bit rang a bell about some behind the scenes gossip I vaguely remembered reading years ago:

 

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After further disagreements on set, which saw Pruitt speaking out on a public Buffy forum and Whedon claiming he’d told lies about him,

 

This is where I'd read about behind the scenes trouble between Whedon and Pruitt before - some people on the Whedonesque fansite dug it up when Pruitt put some old video recordings of the Buffy set on YouTube:

 

 

http://whedonesque.com/comments/30245

 

Quote

If I recall correctly, Pruitt had some big issues with the way a dangerous stunt was done and how another stunt was shot and was very vocal about it. He then later posted a lengthy "parable" about his experience with Buffy to the Bronze Beta message board (not sure if this was before or after he was fired), which led to some public back-and-forth jabbing between him and Joss. It was ugly, from what I remember.

Others may have a better memory of the specifics.

Knuckleball | January 09, 03:32 CET

 

This is that "parable" that was mentioned: "The Parable of the Knight by J.P.". It's long and I never read much of it: http://web.archive.org/web/20000619003429/http://www.mcs.net/~jcomroe/Knight.html

 

If anyone really wants to dig into the way this gossip has been presented online before, this Reddit post links to Pruitt's old Bronze forum posts from 2000, and quotes the below comment he supposedly made on the TV.com forums in 2014. The original context is lost but it looks like he was responding to both that "parable", and some other rumours people were spreading:

 

Spoiler
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Hello. I realize these messages are from 2006, but someone just pointed them out to me and I thought I'd leave a message for anyone who might be reading this.

 

I am JEFF PRUITT. And I can tell you that none of this is accurate in the least. I never once "dressed Sarah down" or yelled at anyone. David Fury and I always got along great and we were never mad at each other on the Bronze forum. He was just worried about me and wanted me to talk offline about it with someone from the show. Which I appreciated. But at no time have we ever been mad at each other and he's always been supportive.

 

My leaving the show had nothing to do with work at all. It was something personal that had to do with someone I trusted. All of this was away from the show and part of our personal lives. And for the record, both Sophia Crawford and I were asked to return to the show and we both refused.

 

The Parable thing was never meant to be seen on the Internet at all. A mutual friend of Sarah and myself stopped by my house and suggested that I tell our friends why I was leaving. So we came up with the idea of using no names but making a goofy little story that only my friends would understand. It was supposed to be private. It was meant to be seen by only a handful of people. That's all. Unfortunately, someone copied it and it wound up being placed on the net and misinterpreted and changed by strangers.

 

And who the hell made up the story about Fox and hit men? I've never heard that one (and I've heard a lot of made up b.s. since leaving the show). The Internet is a strange and cruel place at times.

 

Sophia and I loved making the show and if anyone is interested in seeing my personal behind-the-scenes video of our fight scenes and stunts from BUFFY then please visit my YouTube channel. Since so many years have passed and the show has long been out of production I've put plenty of stuff up for the fans to enjoy anytime they wish.

 

Thanks for supporting all the work that went into making the series.

 

All the Best,

Jeff Pruitt (Stunt Coordinator/Fight Choreographer/Second Unit Director for BUFFY: THE VAMPIRE SLAYER)

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Gambit said:

There was some discussion of Joss Whedon in the Justice League thread with Cyborg actor Ray Fisher accusing him of being unprofessional and a bit of a twat to members of the cast and crew. Most notably the scene in which The Flash lands on Wonder Womans breasts (lolz). Gal Gadot didn't want to do it, Joss Whedon made a stunt double do it in her place.

 

Now a bunch of stuff has been unearthed and come to light. There were the old issues with his wife calling him a hypocrite preaching feminist ideals, then there was Charisma Carpenter saying when she got pregnant Joss basically wanted her fired. And now the latest is from former stunt people on Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

 

https://metro.co.uk/2020/07/12/egomaniac-joss-whedon-faces-claims-buffy-stunt-double-12942160/

 

Avengers is still one of my favourite superhero movies. And I was planning a rewatch of Buffy, but this all makes it a little sour. It hasn't quite reached the heights of being unable to watch Firefly because of Adam Baldwin, but it's close. Why does everyone you like turn out to be an (alleged) piece of shit? :(

I suspect Joss probably is a bit of a douche but from everything I’ve ever read from Jeff and Sophia they always sound like a couple of lunatics to be honest.

 

They went on a fan forum and published a barely coded story that called SMG a ‘fake princess’ and Sophia a ‘real princess’. Slagging off both her and Joss, honestly is it any surprise that directors were wary of working with this couple who had publicly slagged off the lead actress and creator of the show they were working on?

 

I think I’ve heard them tell about ten different versions about why they left Buffy

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  • 1 year later...

Well, Joss Whedon is still a moron with a big mouth.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2022/jan/18/im-one-of-the-nicer-showrunners-joss-whedon-denies-misconduct-allegations

 

Calling Ray Fisher: “We’re talking about a malevolent force,” Whedon said of Fisher in the interview. “We’re talking about a bad actor in both senses.”

 

And of Gal Gadot after she said he used threating language: “I don’t threaten people. Who does that? English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech,” Whedon said. In response, Gadot told New York: “I understood perfectly.”

 

Wotta cunt.

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Yeah he’s a massive cunt, but Ray Fisher is either incredibly naive or just dumb to think Cyborg was going to be the most important superhero in a Justice League film.  Heck Cyborg isn’t even a top 5 character in the Teen Titans and has never really belonged in the Justice League to begin with.

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25 minutes ago, Festoon said:

Well, Joss Whedon is still a moron with a big mouth.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2022/jan/18/im-one-of-the-nicer-showrunners-joss-whedon-denies-misconduct-allegations

 

Calling Ray Fisher: “We’re talking about a malevolent force,” Whedon said of Fisher in the interview. “We’re talking about a bad actor in both senses.”

 

And of Gal Gadot after she said he used threating language: “I don’t threaten people. Who does that? English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech,” Whedon said. In response, Gadot told New York: “I understood perfectly.”

 

Wotta cunt.

 

Yep. And this on Martin Luther King day. Prick.

 

Spoiler

Yeah, that's not entirely fair, he said it in a magazine interview which they chose to publish today but hey, it's a free kick.)

 

What he said in that interview pretty much made me believe the misconduct allegations more. "I don’t threaten people. Who does that? English is not her first language," comes across as classic gaslighting.

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15 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

Yep. And this on Martin Luther King day. Prick.

 

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Yeah, that's not entirely fair, he said it in a magazine interview which they chose to publish today but hey, it's a free kick.)

 

What he said in that interview pretty much made me believe the misconduct allegations more. "I don’t threaten people. Who does that? English is not her first language," comes across as classic gaslighting.

 

What a horrible dickhead he is.

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2048x2730-b2-29f8-11e6-9feb-29ac32e8f3f5

 

I remember at the time some people online (perhaps even here) saying that Whedon was virtue signalling and that his feminism was purely performative.

 

In the years since I've come to understand some of the women I read or listen to when they say "when a man says loudly he's a feminist that's almost always a red flag."

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

2048x2730-b2-29f8-11e6-9feb-29ac32e8f3f5

 

I remember at the time some people online (perhaps even here) saying that Whedon was virtue signalling and that his feminism was purely performative.

 

In the years since I've come to understand some of the women I read or listen to when they say "when a man says loudly he's a feminist that's almost always a red flag."

 

 

 

*ahem* Glinner.

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I saw a couple of ZSJL fans on Twitter (here and here) claiming that since the person who did the Vulture/NY Mag interview has written about Buffy before, recently deleted all her tweets, and described Snyder's style as combining "the artificiality of a video game with the fascist aesthetic of a Leni Riefenstahl production", that means that this is a biased puff piece intended to rehabilitate Whedon's reputation. :blink2:

 

Which to me is a really bizarre way of reading it. Yes, the interview presents his side of the story, and the side of people like the Buffy writer Rebecca X/Rebecca Rand Kirshner (who is quoted semi-defending him, as she questions herself on whether Whedon's behaviour was really toxic/abusive). But to me the whole thing is a clear example of giving him enough rope to hang himself. From the admission that he'll excuse himself to go to the toilet if he's asked an awkward question onwards.

 

If anyone can't get past the Vulture reading limit paywall on the article itself and wants a really awkward way to to read it, this Twitter user screenshotted the whole thing in this thread:

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, SaintAnselm said:

Yeah he’s a massive cunt, but Ray Fisher is either incredibly naive or just dumb to think Cyborg was going to be the most important superhero in a Justice League film.  Heck Cyborg isn’t even a top 5 character in the Teen Titans and has never really belonged in the Justice League to begin with.

 

No one belongs in the Justice League. The whole idea is a shitshow.

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I do think Whedon is blameless over Fisher, mostly because Fisher never really had any actual receipts, he'd just do these streams pledging that details were coming, details were coming and then just nothing. He'd tell WB to set up an independent investigation of his claims and they did and then he never co-operated with it. The article mentions the closest thing he got to an actual complaint, with the addendum (that I'd missed) that the story got retracted.

 

It felt like he was pissed that his first big Hollywood pic didn't exactly set the world alight and had a negative effect on his career and blamed Whedon rather than Snyder or the studio.

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6 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

I do think Whedon is blameless over Fisher, mostly because Fisher never really had any actual receipts, he'd just do these streams pledging that details were coming, details were coming and then just nothing. He'd tell WB to set up an independent investigation of his claims and they did and then he never co-operated with it. The article mentions the closest thing he got to an actual complaint, with the addendum (that I'd missed) that the story got retracted.

 

It felt like he was pissed that his first big Hollywood pic didn't exactly set the world alight and had a negative effect on his career and blamed Whedon rather than Snyder or the studio.

 

You're not thinking of the power differential here. Insane a director would criticise a young actor like that in order to damage his career. I would never hire Whedon if that was his behaviour - no actor would ever trust him again.

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I don’t see how anyone can read that and think that it was an attempt to rehabilitate him. I’ve got two thirds of the way through, and have read enough new stories about how he’s abusive.

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And his whole "Fisher is a shit actor" schtick is really strange because of the existence of the Synder cut, and, y'know, he's pretty good in that.

 

Like, it's really strange - he might have gotten away with that if people didn't have anything to judge it on, but they do.

 

What a twat. 

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42 minutes ago, Festoon said:

And his whole "Fisher is a shit actor" schtick is really strange because of the existence of the Synder cut, and, y'know, he's pretty good in that.

 

Like, it's really strange - he might have gotten away with that if people didn't have anything to judge it on, but they do.

 

What a twat. 

 

 

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