Joss Whedon accused of abusive behavior on-set

Originally published at: Joss Whedon accused of abusive behavior on-set | Boing Boing




For anyone trying to make excuses… follow Mal’s example.


Thank goodness for that vampire slayer training, then!

Seriously, though I really enjoyed Joss’s work for a long, long time, but I have no reservations about him being consigned to the same bin as the $5 “Life of Paul the Apostle” dvds at the Dollar Store. And if high profile assholes like him keep getting picked off, it allows a lot more room for just-as-talented women and BIPOC auteurs to make their magic. No loss.


Gah. They say the true test of integrity is how you respond when those you admire or respect are involved.

In this case this is true for me, but that’s irrelevant. You believe victims. The rampant misogyny and abuse of female actors needs to stop. This seems ever more prevalent in sci-fi and fantasy genres as well, which is utterly disheartening - these genres are supposed to embrace diversity and equality for fuck’s sake.


Joss Whedon is especially frustrating, because being progressive about diversity was explicitly part of his public persona. And Buffy was a big set piece for this. And yet. Here we are.



We usually joke about, for example, bigoted politicians who are caught involved in the very activities or cultures they publicly deplore, but it really sucks to find out your supposedly progressive allies are actually assholes and promoting the opposite culture behind the scenes.

I especially hate that this is so prevalent in television, where you are often forced in to multi-year contracts with these people, for example, what happened to Terry Farrell on DS9 with Rick Berman playing the role of misogynistic asshole there.


I love Firefly watched a few other Whedon projects and none of them really excited me.

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People can have progressive views and still be abusive assholes.

There is something where their logical brain understands X is bad, Y is good. But their emotional brain doesn’t translate this into how they act and behave. In their brain they are still the good guy. They are either unwilling or unable to see their actions are harmful. It is probably some form of narcissism or inability to empathize. Recently we had the Ellen controversy. She has been a of a pioneer with gay rights and exposure, but also, evidently, a jerk to work with.

And then there are people, and I am not accusing Whedon of this as I don’t know if it applies, who basically wrap themselves in progressive sheep’s clothing to get people to let their guard down and then abuse/manipulate. :confused:


Why “hero worshipping” is a bad move.


All this stuff coming out makes me wonder if there were reasons other than FOX bungling the marketing and scheduling that killed Firefly.

It’s Fox, they’ve killed pretty much everything good they ever picked up.


One of the reasons that people let Bill Cosby get away with his predatory behavior so long; most people wanted to believe he was Clifford Huxtable.


This. Down with the “brilliant asshole” myth. There’s someone else more brilliant just waiting to step in. Dump the assholes.


One of my friends said it best, “How dare he trade on feminism to get access women and power.” It was part of a larger rant, but that was the core.

He pretended to be all about feminism just to abuse more people.


In a way, this is not unexpected. A lot of the artists I like were reprehensible human beings. Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs. And that’s just off the top of my head. So I’m not surprised that a guy who had a gift for writing snappy dialogue turns out to be kind of an asshole.

No, really, from the very beginning he struck me as the sort of smarmy know-it-all who would get all pissy if you questioned his genius. Something about his smirk set off warning lights the first time I saw his photo way back when.

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see also: “but im such a nice guy”

it really does stink. and it seems very telling that the only actors who have stood up for him are straight white male actors who never would have been targets of his abuse in the first place. :slightly_frowning_face:


Those extra commentary tracks included in the special edition of big movies, are chock-full of, “So and so was such a delight to work with”. I always imagine those tracks are being recorded by people with guns to their heads… because in a way, it’s true. It doesn’t take much to gain a reputation as being “hard to work with” and a whistleblower in this industry has only as much protection as they can afford to pay for.

It was profoundly weird to see the whiplash effect when all the stories about Harvey Weinstein turned out-not only to be true- but to also have mattered. Production companies had to suddenly grow a conscience overnight. Or at least fake the appearance of a Jiminy Cricket avatar convincingly.

As much as I love Joss Whedon’s work, this doesn’t really surprise me all that much. This industry cultivates monsters.

Other than blacklisting the worst examples of bad behavior (which mostly warns evildoers not to get caught at it) it’s hard to think of ways they might step up their decency that hasn’t already been addressed by the unions…

I like how the American Humane Association has managed to establish their stamp of, “No animals were harmed” in the credits of every mainstream film.

What if we could audit a production in a similar way for human beings? “No human rights were violated in the making of this film”.


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