Joss Whedon Responds to Accusations of Misconduct

Filmmaker says Gal Gadot, with her imperfect English, misunderstood him
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2022 5:00 PM CST
Joss Whedon Responds to Accusations of Misconduct
FILE - This Jan. 21, 2014, file photo shows American film producer and director Joss Whedon at the screening of "Much Ado About Nothing" in Paris. Whedon's ex-wife Kai Cole alleged in an essay published by The Wrap on Aug. 20, 2017, that Whedon had multiple affairs during their 16-year marriage.   (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, File)

(Newser) – When Joss Whedon and Gal Gadot were arguing about whether to cut a scene from the 2017 film Justice League, the filmmaker said the disagreement might have to be resolved by tying one of them to railroad tracks. The actress says the threat was directed at her. In an interview published Monday in New York magazine, Whedon says he had told her he'd have to be the one tied to the track, as in the scene would be cut "over his dead body." The filmmaker says it was just a misunderstanding, Rolling Stone reports. "English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech," Whedon said. Gadot answered that possibility directly in an email: "I understood perfectly."

Other people Whedon has worked with have accused him of misconduct on sets, and the filmmaker addressed some of those allegations in the interview. Charisma Carpenter, who appeared in Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, described him as "casually cruel" to her, calling her fat when she was pregnant and asking if she planned "to keep it." Other cast members backed up her account. Whedon conceded he was "not mannerly" when Carpenter told him she was pregnant but said he didn't call her fat, per Variety. In the interview, he assessed Carpenter's work. "She struggled sometimes with her lines, but nobody could hit a punch line harder than her," he said.

On Buffy, Whedon said: "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." When it came to another Justice League actor's allegations about an abusive set, Whedon gave no ground, ripping Ray Fisher. "We're talking about a malevolent force," Whedon said. "We're talking about a bad actor in both senses." The filmmaker has undergone treatment for addiction, per New York. His accusers are trying "to make it seem like I was an abusive monster," Whedon said, when he sees himself as "one of the nicer showrunners that's ever been." (Read more Joss Whedon stories.)

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