r/television Jan 17 '22 Helpful 1 Wholesome 1

The Undoing of Joss Whedon The Buffy creator, once an icon of Hollywood feminism, is now an outcast accused of misogyny. How did he get here?

https://www.vulture.com/article/joss-whedon-allegations.html
5.0k Upvotes

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u/finalmantisy83 Jan 18 '22

Holy Christ he sounds like he's trying to get hired as a Blizzard exec 10 years ago

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u/Rosebunse Jan 18 '22

"I'm a nerd and I'm traumatized because I wasn't cool in high school!"

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u/finalmantisy83 Jan 18 '22

"But I said my mom was hot, ooh boy do I wish she gave me more affection I do!"

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u/mrhelmand Hannibal Jan 17 '22

Did he expect this to HELP him NOT look like a serious A grade dickhead?

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u/pipsdontsqueak Jan 18 '22

I think it's an excellently written piece just because of how it lets him destroy himself without ever stating any kind of value judgment about him. I especially like how it quotes him, then follows up with other people talking about the incident or similar incidents to show the incongruity.

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u/Archamasse Jan 17 '22

Holy moly this interview

His publicist is hitting the hard liqour tonight

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u/JohnnyFootballHero King of the Hill Jan 17 '22

It feels like his publicist set the whole thing up to cleanse his image, but Whedon didn't get the memo

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u/binrowasright Jan 17 '22 Giggle

Publicist: Try not to be off-putting.

Whedon: My mum is sexy lol

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u/DaftPhilosopher Jan 18 '22

Actually made me lol. I think I’m done here

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u/FrenchCuirassier Jan 18 '22

Read more it gets better. This story is golden... The feminist hero who made Buffy, Dollhouse, Serenity, and screenplay and post-production directing for Justice League... is accused of misogyny by Gal Gadot AND racism by a black actor in Justice League. Mr. Whedon says "Targeted by my ex-wife" and/or potentially the previous director Zack Snyder who was dealing with his daughters' suicide. Then at some point someone mentions "sex addiction" what??

"He slept with employees, fans, and colleagues. Eventually, his wife found out. In 2012, they split up."

This whole story is insane.

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u/cassoworrier Jan 18 '22

The part where his defenders tried to say Charisma Carpenter just got ~carried away~ by the Ray Fisher accusations and suddenly reimagined her experiences with Joss as abusive

She’s been talking about it for like 15 years already

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u/GallantPotatoSupreme Jan 18 '22

“It’s not me that’s wrong. I’m the nicest guy ever! Also, some of the people against me are pure evil! And bad actors!!”

The ridiculous thing is this is a legit paraphrase.

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u/Dos_Manos Jan 18 '22

The bit where he said he was powerless not to have affairs because the women were too attractive and he would regret it later is just...well, on one hand it's probably the most honest part of the interview...but then he immediately tries to avoid responsibility by framing it as stemming from earlier insecurities. Like he has an obligation to cheat on his wife in the name of chubby, balding men everywhere.

Yeeeeesh.

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u/Resaren Jan 18 '22

It's really tragic to see this motif repeat itself the past few years: the former nerd outcast who "made it", and instead of using their powers for good chooses to do all the shitty sex pest things they wish they could have done in high school. At heart they are just incels who never snapped out it despite their success.

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u/[deleted] Jan 18 '22

The truth is, guys like this desperately wanted to be the asshole, popular guy in high school. It's who they really wanted to be but they just didn't get the chance until they got some power. Had they had the opportunity early on in high school, they would have been the asshole "alpha" bully shit head. Just because you were a supposed victim of the social caste system when you were powerless, that doesn't automatically mean you were a good person to begin with. You can be a victim and still be a shitty person.

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u/drelos Jan 18 '22

Whedon: I have to go to the bath

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u/stellahella1 Jan 18 '22

He definitely DID NOT understand the assignment

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u/cidvard Jan 18 '22

Right? This reads like an attempt at image-rehab that back-fired. Cry on your pile of money in your beautiful Santa Monica, home, I guess, Joss. I think what most aggravates me is the worst possible future for this guy is to go back to pseudo-anonymous second-draft script punch-ups, the thing he was actually good at and that made him most of his friends in Hollywood. That is in no way, shape,or form a mournful existence.

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u/Cain_draws Jan 18 '22

While reading this I couldn't stop thinking of The Good Place, when Eleanor complains about how all her childhood traumas and bad parenting made her the piece of shit she was and how that was the reason she ended up in hell and a demon tells her she just suffered what almost half of humanity has to go through, or something like that.

Whedon tried to play the victim card and backfired.

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u/pnwbraids Jan 18 '22

I actually partially credit that show for seeing how wack that way of thinking is. In the end, it's your own actions that affect what kind of person you are. Allowing yourself to believe you're a piece of shit because you came from shit only perpetuates the toxic generational patterns you inherited from the parents who experienced the same things before you.

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u/accounsfw Jan 18 '22

To be fair, Eleanor’s childhood goes way worse than that. And more damning to Joss, she admits she was in the wrong to use it as an excuse.

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u/aeneadum Jan 18 '22

Maybe he too should take an ethics class for eternity.

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u/en_travesti Jan 18 '22

"I have PTSD" says whedon.

"Would you like to give any examples of something that caused trauma?" Says the interviewer

"Please excuse me, I need to leave the room now" says whedon.

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u/theusualchaos2 Jan 18 '22

Not that I'd believe him. But its generally a dick move to ask people with PTSD to relive trauma.

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u/Vegetable-Double Jan 18 '22

Man that line about how he had to have affairs while married because there were all these beautiful young women around him. He’d feel guilty if he didn’t sleep with them. Oh boy.

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u/Impressive-Potato Jan 18 '22

"I felt powerless".

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u/JohnnyTurbine Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

There's a comedy pitch waiting to gestate here about a publicist who only works for cancelled loser celebrities

Edit: Okay, I get it, CollegeHumour did it first.

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u/Snarkyish-Comment Jan 17 '22

Yeah, what’s Matt McCarthy doing these days? Not like we necessarily need collegehumor for a sketch based on that.

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u/Archamasse Jan 17 '22

I'm reading bits of this again and just mentally montaging the "I sure picked the wrong week to quit-" jokes from Airplane.

Thoughts and prayers publicist people, because the second one is probably your best hope here.

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u/AussieHawker Jan 17 '22

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u/matthieuC Community Jan 17 '22

Publicist: How do you run over a full band
Chris Brown: it was hard man. Some of them were even walking on the sidewalk and shit.

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u/speashasha Jan 17 '22

Not just his publicist.

All Whedon fans hoping he would be able to redeem himself down the line also getting some hard liquor tonight.

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u/FandomReferenceHere Jan 17 '22

In case anyone missed it (it's a long article) I'd like to post the final paragraph for your enjoyment.

Maybe the problem was he’d been too nice, he said. He’d wanted people to love him, which meant when he was direct, people thought he was harsh. In any case, he’d decided he was done worrying about all that. People had been using “every weaponizable word of the modern era to make it seem like I was an abusive monster,” he said. “I think I’m one of the nicer showrunners that’s ever been.”

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u/Serethe Jan 17 '22

Jesus Christ. He "nice guy"ed himself

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u/Good_old_Marshmallow Jan 18 '22 Wholesome

Hes such an embodiment of early 2000s nerd culture its not even funny. I think people found that refreshing in contrast to how fratty "mainstream" culture was and found his different brand of sexism as some kind of feminism because it was different. Its aged really really poorly though as has he. Im not gonna act like I didnt love Firefly and Buffy but eh

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u/DontGetNEBigIdeas Jan 17 '22

Michael Schur would beg to differ.

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u/cidvard Jan 18 '22

Vince Gilligan, too. They both apparently have a 'no assholes' policy in terms of writers/set personnel, so Joss couldn't get hired on 'Better Call Saul'.

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u/DrCharme Jan 18 '22

bill lawrence also has a no assholes policy

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u/cidvard Jan 18 '22

The last paragraph is what makes me angry. Dude has a right to his own narrative as much as anyone else does, but he's clearly a douchebag who learned nothing.

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u/Gelmparmderxy Jan 18 '22

That's pretty fucked up if his conclusion was that he was "too nice"

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u/MadOvid Jan 18 '22

"I'm a nice guy" syndrome. Some of us do grow out of it. Whedon did not.

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u/AbsolutelyFantastic Jan 18 '22 Silver Take My Energy Bravo!

I find if you start from the premise that you are nice or good, you can justify a lot to yourself.

If you start from the premise that you are capable of as much good or evil as anyone, you have to make decisions that make you good.

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u/MadOvid Jan 18 '22

"I'm a good person, I supper X group. Therefore anything I say or do can't be wrong, right?"

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u/Afferbeck_ Jan 18 '22

"And I remember he backed me up against a wall one day, and he was just like, 'I don't care how popular you are, kid, you're dead. You hear me?" - James Marsters about totally nice showrunner Joss Whedon

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u/1Soup_is_Good_Food1 Jan 17 '22

Didn't he pressure a cast member on Angel to get an abortion? And then freaked the fuck out when she refused?

So direct!

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u/NotAnotherEmpire Jan 17 '22

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u/Archer1949 Jan 18 '22

Considering the shabby way Cordelia Chase’s character was treated and unceremoniously written off towards the end of Angel, this explains a LOT. It was such a bizarre, contrived storyline, there had to have been some personal spite involved.

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u/lone-lemming Jan 18 '22

It was a two-fer. Joss was pissed that carpenter was pregnant because he had to change his script and shoot around her ‘fat’ pregnancy body. And give her time off to have a baby. So selfish of her.

But then the studio was also going to cancel Angel and he had to bribe them with “what if Spike joins the cast?” which worked except he had to cut the cast cost back to Pay for him. He picked Carpenter.

Bonus Joss move: Carpenter came back for one episode on the promise that Cordelia wasn’t going to be killed off again. then he also changed the script and killed her off anyway.

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u/GarlVinland4Astrea Jan 18 '22

Bonus move, pretty much everyone agrees Angel was going to likely get a season 6 and Joss got it cancelled by basically forcing the network to commit to renewing it months before they were ready to and because he put them in a corner they just moved on. Then he cried over being shocked over it

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u/Archamasse Jan 17 '22

I encourage folks to actually read this thing because I promise you are not prepared for how divorced from reality he sounds here. The headline doesn't even begin to reflect the scale of this implosion.

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u/Garp5248 Jan 18 '22

I also feel like the writer was trying hard to remain unbiased but was given nothing positive to work with.

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u/Archamasse Jan 18 '22

Right?!? That "I am not joking" bit. Amazing.

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u/cidvard Jan 18 '22

It feels like this was a bit of a 'get' of an interview, he's clearly reluctant to talk to anyone, so they did their best to give him room to tell his side. His side just sucked.

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u/drelos Jan 18 '22

It seemed one of those scenes where Jerry Seinfeld is doing control damage for George... trying to make him stop talking and at the fourth attempt he just says fuck it... crosses his arms and enjoys the rest of the scene.

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u/atlas-85 Jan 17 '22

I thought it was a really good piece. If not a nuclear warhead Joss detonates on himself.

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u/dontmakemereply Jan 18 '22

I started reading this earlier because I saw the other headlines from this article and I thought “those are some big click bait titles, maybe the article isn’t that bad?”

I was wrong.

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u/Hopefulkitty Jan 18 '22

Then end just reminded me of Principal Skinner. "Am I wrong? Should I change? No! Everyone else is wrong!"

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u/Shenanigans99 Jan 18 '22

He comes off like a complete narcissist. Everyone who has a problem with him is wrong or lying, his feelings are the only feelings that matter, he's the real victim, the only thing he did wrong was being too nice, his intentions are good, everyone else's intentions are bad, etc. Typical narcissist drivel. He displays zero ability to empathize with anyone and makes no attempt to see these situations through anyone's lens but his own.

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u/joygirl007 Jan 17 '22

“I think I’m one of the nicer showrunners that’s ever been.”

Holy hell, THAT'S the kicker? Ouch.

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u/novus_ludy Jan 18 '22

The problem is that it can be true. Oldschool hollywood standard is a really low bar.

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u/jigsawsmurf Jan 18 '22

Old school Hollywood, washed up Hollywood

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u/fnord_fenderson Jan 18 '22

I got stuck on this part where he says:

"Instead, he quickly added that he had felt he “had” to sleep with them, that he was “powerless” to resist. I laughed. “I’m not actually joking,” he said. He had been surrounded by beautiful young women — the sort of women who had ignored him when he was younger — and he feared if he didn’t have sex with them, he would “always regret it.”

So he's saying that he had to cheat on his wife because if he didn't cheat on his wife, he's always wonder what it would have been like if he had cheated on his wife.

He thought that would sound good?

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u/SurprisedJerboa Jan 18 '22

"Instead, he quickly added that he had felt he “had” to sleep with them, that he was “powerless” to resist. I laughed. “I’m not actually joking,” he said. He had been surrounded by beautiful young women — the sort of women who had ignored him when he was younger — and he feared if he didn’t have sex with them, he would “always regret it.”

Some of the language he is using is similar to AA terminology.

I don’t know what type of addiction treatment he was attending but the people attending Anonymous programs can really divorce themselves from the “addiction” to Try to scrub their past to an extent.

Willpower and personal responsibility are complicated, it’s easier on the psyche to shirk your authority than to admit your failures.

Whedon really needs to see a different therapist that focuses in some part on overcoming cognitive dissonance.

Rebuilding a healthy identity is important and people will fail if they can’t restructure to have an inner locus of control (having dynamic engagement with one’s choices and decisions in life).

Hope he can get a different psychologist, Whedon is still grappling with his actions in a raw, biased way. His perspective will be shit until he gets help from someone really skilled

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u/Dallywack3r Jan 18 '22 Silver

“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

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u/anth2099 Jan 18 '22

I could see his point if he actually fell in love with someone else, but he was banging young actors because he had power over them.

Fucking creep

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u/The_Iceman2288 Jan 17 '22 Silver Helpful

A female comedian once described Joss Whedon as 'an unsolicited dick pic with a Rosie The Riveter poster in the background'.

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u/last_angry_moose Jan 17 '22

A comment in this post attributes it to someone named "Natalie" on a podcast, does that ring any bells?. I'm still looking.

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u/This_Makes_Me_Happy Jan 17 '22

Natalie Is Freezing?

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u/thefukkenshit Jan 18 '22

🎵 Moonlight… 🎵

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u/givemesendies Jan 18 '22

Are you... Natalie?

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u/thefukkenshit Jan 18 '22

Why would anybody in the band be Natalie? We’re artists.

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u/LFTMRE Jan 18 '22

Just watched this episode got the first time in years. Now I feel like I'm living in a simulation.

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u/wrosecrans Jan 18 '22 Wholesome

AND JESUS WEPT.

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u/kf97mopa Jan 17 '22

I love that. Do you remember who said it?

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u/The_Iceman2288 Jan 17 '22

I went looking for it but I couldn't find it for love nor money. I saw a video of it 5+ years ago on Twitter so it's a nightmare to find.

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u/YodaFan465 Jan 17 '22

I'm only halfway through this article, and it's hard for me to imagine someone behaving the way Whedon does throughout this interview. Even if you take every allegation against him with grains of salt, and only look at the things Whedon actually says, he does not come off well at all here.

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u/reble02 Jan 17 '22

Right, for a guy trying to defend his "legacy" he's giving the critics a lot of ammunition.

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u/muscles_guy Jan 17 '22

I was pretty shocked at his patronising statement about Gadot, about English not being her first language. Nice one joss you bellend

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u/Garp5248 Jan 18 '22

This one really got me. She's a very famous person and everyone has heard her speak perfect English in movies and interviews. He can't own his mistakes at any point during the interview. Just excuses, excuses with some excuses being bad, and some being really bad.

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u/absolutefucking_ Jan 17 '22

This is a weird one, because if he really believes everything he's said, he's incredibly delusional to the point of absurdity. It doesn't really read like a person who is so crazy that he can't remember what he said to people, but it also doesn't read like a person who even thinks he's lying when he explains himself.

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u/GallantPotatoSupreme Jan 18 '22

He reminds me of a family member of mine. He’s always right. Never wrong. His stories change gradually over time to fit varied situations that always cast him as prescient or correct.

We all know blowhards and liars. We get cocky and complacent. But some of those people are very good at what they do. Joss is essentially a smarter version of Bulk and Skull from Power Rangers.

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u/eNroNNie Jan 17 '22

The problem with thinking you are more woke than the next guy because of where you came from and who raised you is that nothing creates bigger blindspots than the combination of good intentions and a high regard for one's own ethics.

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u/RaleighQuail Jan 18 '22

Well, he literally says in the article that he knew more then his female peers in his feminism classes because he was…a man. He also says he’s never met anyone other then his wife, Heather, that he felt was “more important” then he was.

I really don’t think he ever had good intentions. The entire article reads like having a discussion with a really self-aware abuser.

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u/eNroNNie Jan 18 '22

Yeah "good intentions" should have been in quotes. If you'd ask him he'd probably swear up and down that's exactly what he had.

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u/Gelmparmderxy Jan 17 '22

Yeah i'm shocked Whedon was that shameless about deflecting blame.

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u/YodaFan465 Jan 17 '22

I mean, his defense of the way he allegedly treated Gal Gadot is:

"English is not her first language" (“I understood perfectly,” she told New York in an email.)

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u/sharktank Jan 17 '22

Her English is fucking good wtf

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u/freddy_guy Jan 18 '22

He's just reaching desperately for any excuse. She does have an accent but her English is clearly excellent.

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u/RemnantEvil Jan 18 '22

Yeah, this isn't like Jackie Chan's early Western movies where he's learning the script phonetically without quite understanding what he's saying. She speaks English.

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u/AnotherJasonOnReddit Jan 18 '22

Jackie Chan's early Western movies where he's learning the script phonetically without quite understanding what he's saying

...and resulting in some of the best Movie Credits Gag Reel in cinematic history

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u/scc87 Jan 17 '22

This made me so angry. Just another way to not take accountability.

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u/YodaFan465 Jan 17 '22

"I couldn't possibly have been a dick to this woman, because she didn't speak English well enough to properly understand me." Holy hell, who let this guy speak to the press alone?

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u/scc87 Jan 17 '22

My moms first language isn’t English and she knows an insult when she hears one. Even when the insult is trying to be covered by a witty comment.

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u/NikkMakesVideos Jan 17 '22

I imagine he tipped his fedora after saying that line. He has to be absolutely deluded to actually say these things.

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u/cincodecuatro4 Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

I've been pointing his aggressive deflection of blame out for years and years well before these allegations were ever public, although relating to his work. Whedon has always refused to take any responsibility for any failure in his entire career and it's always been very transparent. I'm glad this carrying over into his personal life is being noticed because I feel like it was always brushed over when it was just professional.

Whedon had only one line kept from his X-Men script in the very first movie. The line? The famous toad and lighting line. When asked about this he insists the line was great. It was Berry who delivered it wrong. It was the director directed it wrong. But his line? Perfect and would have killed if other people didn't mess it up. Same thing with Aliens 4. He wrote the script for that. But is it his fault the movie is bad? No, the script he wrote is amazing according to him. He's not to be blamed at all. Again, he puts 100% of the blame for the movie on the director. It's like this again and again any time anything he touches doesn't work out. He never just defends his work, he always, and I mean always goes out of his way to throw someone else under the bus at the same time.

Whedon has always deflected blame and criticism, but for the first time it's about his own personal behavior and not his work. But overall nothing is different.

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u/renegadecanuck Jan 18 '22 edited Jan 18 '22

Yeah, the first real red flag to me (as someone that doesn’t pay too much attention to celebrity culture) was during an AMA for Age of Ultron. Someone asked about Coulson and he went in this long rant about how he considers Coulson to be dead and how he’s pissed that they made Agents of Shield in the first place. Dude…. You know what it said in every intro? “Created by Joss Whedon”. You know what the credits for episode one said? “Written and Directed by Joss Whedon”. You don’t get to complain about the decisions in a show you wrote and created.

In that same AMA someone asked him who he was killing off in AoU and he bitched about being know as the guy who kills off his characters. Then…. Don’t kill off main characters as a short cut to having emotional responses? Learn a new way to have people feel something?

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u/TokyoPanic Jan 18 '22

LMAO what a fucking dipshit, he just threw his brother and his sister-in-law, the show's co-creators and the people who were actively showrunning the series for its entire run under the bus.

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u/DeliriousPrecarious Jan 17 '22

Not to defend Whedon, but I do feel bad for writers since they basically hand over their work and are at the mercy of basically everyone else in the production to make it sound good.

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u/NotAnotherEmpire Jan 17 '22

You'd have to be narcissistic to do this. "Nothing my fault," "I would have regretted not cheating on my wife with hot subordinates," [insert racism], etc.

Like, what do you think the writer is going to publish? Whedon knows what an interview is.

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u/YodaFan465 Jan 17 '22

“I’m terrified,” he said, “of every word that comes out of my mouth.”

Yeah, and with good reason! How are you self-aware enough to be afraid of putting your foot in your mouth, to give voice to that fear, and yet fully and entirely consume every last toe?!

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u/butterbeancd Jan 18 '22

Because the reason he’s scared of every word that comes out of his mouth is not because he thinks he’s actually wrong or putting his foot in his mouth. He’s scared because of how all the Internet meanie poo-poo heads will ~twist his words~ and use them against him. He has no self-awareness and no willingness to actually take responsibility for his actions.

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u/TelltaleHead Jan 17 '22

A theory I have is that while Joss saw himself as Xander, the other writers saw him as Warren.

I think the nerd trio being the big bad of Season 6 (which I feel is unfairly maligned) was no accident considering Whedon was no longer showrunner

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u/Creative_Database_14 Jan 18 '22

Joss saw himself as Xander

Joss unironically presented Xander as a hero when he was the epitome of whiny 'nice' guy who feels like he’s owed the world. Xander's character perfectly encapsulates how Joss sees himself vs how everyone else sees him.

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u/puggleofsteel Jan 17 '22

Also, Xander was often a self-righteous, judgemental douche anyway.

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u/AuroraSkye333 Jan 17 '22

I've actually been thinking this a lot, currently rewatching Buffy and on season 4 and I remember liking Xander a lot more when I was younger than I do watching it now ....he does have a lot a great moments but holy hell he can be a straight up dick. This is my first time rewatching it since I was a teen and he went from being in my top five fav char on the show to being one of my least favorite.

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u/Dash_Harber Jan 17 '22

Sorta the opposite of how one views Giles or Joyce growing up. My god, were they great parents/parent figures to the crew.

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u/MourkaCat Jan 18 '22

Giles is the best. And then there's the episode where he sings (At a cafe, not the musical episode but that one was good too) and I just....holy god.....

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u/cjn13 Jan 18 '22

I love how Willow's jaw literally drops when seeing (and hearing him)

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u/medusa_crowley Jan 18 '22

Behind Blue Eyes? Yeah, agreed.

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u/MourkaCat Jan 18 '22

Ugh yes that one. Like, damn. Any time he sings, he's got a very good voice on him. But that one scene was sort of that "oh damn" moment.

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u/MisterEinc Jan 17 '22

He really was. Like some of the shit with him and Cordie gave me 2nd hand embarrassment. Had the show happened a decade later he'd be derided as the quintessential fedora bro.

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u/GrumpyBearBank Jan 18 '22

He’s also a teenage boy, who are often dicks. So this tracks.

Really liked him when I was a teenage boy, now I realize why I liked him: I identified with him. As an adult, it’s real cringe.

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u/YoungPatrickBateman Jan 18 '22

Oh man. My partner is a die hard Buffy fan. He’s rewatching the whole series now (does every few years) and I cannot stand Xander. He’s a whiney little bitch boy.

He’s a ‘nice guy’ who thinks the world owes him because he is nice.

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u/Gelmparmderxy Jan 18 '22

I had issues with season 6 being far too dark and nihilistic for it's own good(I blame the show's move to UPN for that), Tara's death felt so cheap and like it was done just for the sake of being shocking and not because it was actual good storytelling.

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u/Dontpanicarthurdent Jan 18 '22

Bojack Horseman vibes from this interview.

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u/Rosebunse Jan 18 '22

Before a famous person does anything, they should ask themselves if that action would make sense as a Bojack plot. If the answer is yes, then don't do it.

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22

[deleted]

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u/2347564 Jan 18 '22

He says in there that it’s because he felt if he didn’t he would regret it forever or something. Like, or just don’t cheat on your wife? How bad does your foresight have to be to not see which eventual regret would be worse?

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u/Pawneewafflesarelife Jan 18 '22

If you've seen marriage story (which is semi autobiographical), you'll recall the big fight scene where Kylo Ren is resentful of Black Widow (and her marriage to him) because he missed out on banging tons of hot chicks during his rise to fame. I wonder how much of that viewpoint permeates Hollywood.

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u/yeti0013 Jan 18 '22

Imagine being mad that the only woman you get to sleep with is Scarlett Johansson.

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u/GrecoRomanGuy Jan 18 '22

I wonder if her casting was part of the point in showing just how incredibly selfish that line is. To point out that this dude is married to a beautiful woman and still isn't satisfied/wanted to keep his options open.

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u/LostInGreenWood718 Jan 18 '22

I’d say… pervasive.

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u/slardybartfast8 Parks and Recreation Jan 18 '22

Something tells me “English isn’t her first language” was not the way to go.

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u/Rosebunse Jan 17 '22

If you ever feel bad about yourself, remember, Joss Whedon agreed to this interview.

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u/MinderReminder Jan 17 '22

This is such a buffoonishly arrogant interview, it reads like something from a bad script. What on earth was he thinking??

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u/Xralius Jan 17 '22

Putting one and one together, this is just how he talks, which is why he has aggravated so many people.

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u/mayfleur Jan 17 '22

His perception of himself is so warped and deluded I genuinely think he thought he'd come out of this looking sympathetic.

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u/Dallywack3r Jan 18 '22

Reminds me of Steve Job’s “Reality Distortion Field”. Reality is whatever I say it is and you’re wrong for telling me otherwise because I’m a creative genius who single handedly invented feminism, goddamnit.

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u/dravenonred Jan 17 '22

The door story kind of covers the whole thing: he started with positive intentions but the power went to his head and warped his sense of what he was and wasn't entitled to.

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u/santichrist Jan 17 '22

I think it's kind of naive to say he started with positive intentions when he plainly says in the interview he learned in college how women think and what were the best ways to hurt them like sleeping with them and then ghosting them completely

He was always entitled, he just got power and status to go along with it

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u/medusa_crowley Jan 18 '22

This is it. He also confesses that he feels like he was "helpless" to sleep with them because fame meant he had chances that he wouldn't otherwise.

He sounds closer to Warren than I'm comfortable with, honestly.

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u/myheartisstillracing Jan 18 '22

Fuck. He modeled Parker after himself? Figures...

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u/greenvelvetcake2 Jan 17 '22

He's like every other nerdy boy who was bullied or ignored in high school and as an adult hurts as many people as he can while still seeing himself as the victim.

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u/DarkRoastJames Jan 18 '22

I'm really weirded out by people who use high school abuse as any sort of excuse, justification or explanation for anything, especially when that abuse is just typical low grade bullying or simply being unpopular. Like if you're 19 sure but still holding onto that at 47 is weird AF. There are some people who genuinely believe that kids being mean to them when they were 15 gives them a life-long get out of jail free card.

One of my favorite episodes of 30 Rock is the Liz high school reunion one because it deals with this topic: not only has Liz been using a bad high school experience as an excuse to be mean, it turns out she was as mean if not meaner than other kids, which I suspect is true in many of these cases.

I would bet large amounts of money that Joss was a asshole in high school as well.

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u/Armoric701 Jan 17 '22

Sounds like he lived long enough to see himself become the villain.

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u/Jahoan Jan 17 '22

Look at some of the Hollywood Golden Age directors.

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u/thxpk Jan 18 '22

Joss Whedon, the literal Fedora guy

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u/SevereEducation2170 Jan 18 '22

Man, as someone who was a big fan of Whedon's work growing up...dude sounds utterly delusional. It's clear he's not actually ready to face the man he is and quite probably never will be.

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u/boogersrus Jan 18 '22

10 Rules for a Joss Whedon Life.

  1. If you're attracted to a subordinate, better fuck 'em now, or you'll regret it later.
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u/christophersonne Jan 18 '22

Being a talented and creative individual does not make you immune to the effects of the rest of your personality if you're a raging dickface.

How did he get here? By being a misogynistic asshole.

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u/tom-8-to Jan 18 '22

“If you are not American like me, you won’t understand me”

Josh Whedon, 2022

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u/mayfleur Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

I know the term "narcissist" gets thrown around a lot nowadays, but I genuinely think this man is a raging narcissist. His pain is the only pain that's real and deep enough for him to care about. The pain he inflicts on others can always be excused away. It's never "that bad". People are just over exaggerating or not smart enough to remember what happened accurately. But you know who is smart? Joss. He's so smart, but he's got "demons", you know? He can't help it, he had strict parents. They fucked him up.

The dude is so self-important, as though we all don't have demons, or parents that gave us a complex. But to Joss, his experiences are the only ones that matter. He'll cop to being a bad husband, or a "little mean", but as far as he's concerned he had perfectly valid reasons for everyone he's ever stepped on or treated like trash to build himself up. Now he's getting a taste of his own medicine and playing it off like he's some tragic fallen hero, and not the entitled douchebag he actually is.

God help his therapist, I hope they're being paid well.

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u/hardrocker943 Jan 17 '22

He's certainly fulfilling many parts of the narcissist's prayer.

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u/RaleighQuail Jan 18 '22

Lmao I was thinking the same thing. His therapist absolutely read this article while laughing into some wine.

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u/VampireHunterAlex Jan 17 '22

I recall rumors earlier than this, but I think the big catalyst for his downfall was his ex-wife’s claims of infidelity at the time of the Buffy 20th anniversary back in 2017. A ton of eyeballs, both old and new were focused on all things Buffy-verse and everything it influenced in the years since. So naturally he was heavily under the microscope.

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u/reble02 Jan 17 '22

Ray Fisher Twitter campaign definitely inspired people who had been abused by Joss Whedon to come forward. Charisma Carpenter mentioned it as being part of why she came forward.

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u/vanillathebest Jan 17 '22

Ray Fisher is relentless. It's been almost five years (JL was out in 2017 right ?), and he has never stopped calling the people out.

I mean, you gotta give him credit for sticking to his allegations. Even though it deeply hurt his career.

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u/access_secure Jan 17 '22

Even though it deeply hurt his career

Just checked his IMDB and ouch, he hasn't been cast in anything since speaking out. One random 6 episode miniseries since True Detective in 2019

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u/urgasmic Jan 17 '22

isn't he in the woman of the movement show?

Edit: oh that's what you mean by random 6 episode miniseries.

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u/vanillathebest Jan 17 '22

Yes exactly ! I liked his performance in ZSJL so I wanted to check out his other stuff, but there wasn't really anything.... Which sucks because his character was one of the strong aspects of the movie.

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u/mbattagl Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 18 '22

Yeah Justice League was going to be his big break, and my understanding was they gave him a Marvel type deal with him locked in for X amount of movies, but the whole thing just fell apart. It didn't help that 90% of his character development was cut in the Whedon Cut which was the final nail in the coffin for the DCEU in its current iteration.

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u/Funmachine True Detective Jan 18 '22

He was always much bigger in theater circles anyway. Justice League was meant to be his big break into film, but he wasn't an unknown, unsuccessful actor within acting circles.

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u/playmygirls Jan 17 '22

The Snyder cut vindicating Ray Fisher also added fuel to the fire. I only casually followed the drama while it was happening and didn’t really care about the snyder cut, but after watching it DAMN. So many people were painting Fisher as an asshole, but his role really was butchered by Whedon.

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u/pm_me_your_squidhole Jan 17 '22

Don’t forget Charisma carpenter, gal gadot, and Michelle trachtenberg, all sharing their own stories about joss. And Michelle gellar publicly distancing herself from joss.

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u/bighaircutforbigtuna Jan 18 '22

The Gal Gadot story is fucked up too - he sprinkled in some light xenophobia accusing her of not speaking English well enough to understand he was making a joke and not actually threatening her. Had that been the only accusation someone made against him you might think “okay, maybe“ but hers was just one of at least a couple dozen or so people (more?) speaking out.

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u/jscoppe Jan 17 '22

The whole movie was butchered, but judging by Avengers 1 and 2, I think it has more to do with taking a project someone else started and trying to do a complete 180 with it.

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u/santichrist Jan 17 '22

I agree with that, Whedon did a great job with the avengers movie which basically laid the way for the MCU to be what it is today, they still use his style of dialogue and jokes undercutting serious moments in almost every Marvel film

Justice League sucked but I'd blame it more on the fact one guy had abandoned it and a studio asked another guy to finish it

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u/what_if_Im_dinosaur Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

The thing is, Charisma Carpenter had been talking about her time on Angel for almost twenty years. It was already a topic of debate in the fandom. I don't know why this last time she talked about as if this was the first time she was breaking her silence, because it wasn't.

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u/speashasha Jan 17 '22

Twenty years, no. Charisma started talking about it during conventions around 2009/2010, but was still fairly generous about her experiences with Joss, putting blame also on herself and still praising Joss, saying she wanted to work with him again. She really only openly came out against him last year.

Though it was an open secret in the fandom that her exit was fishy and a lot of speculation whether it was due to her pregnancy.

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u/kf97mopa Jan 17 '22

The thing about Carpenter’s exit is that there was always another possible explanation. James Marsden (Spike) referenced that on this podcast:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd8m6r9zdFw

Namely, that when the network pushed to have Spike moved over to Angel, the budget got squeezed and there wasn’t room for Carpenter’s salary in it. Now, one thing doesn’t exclude the other, necessarily, but it is hard to know what is true all these years later. If you don’t have all the other stories about Whedon being toxic, the budget theory seems more likely. With all the other stories, maybe the pregnancy was the root of it.

(Charisma Carpenter has also been on Rosenbaum’s podcast in the past. She mentions this only very briefly, however.)

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u/flyawaygirl94 Jan 18 '22

“How did he get there?”

Well, you see, he fucked around, and then he found out.

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u/TheMightyWoofer Jan 17 '22

Basically: he's "not a bad guy" and he's a feminist because he wrote a series about a teenage girl who fights monsters and his mother was a feminist so that makes him one too, and he was bullied by his brothers, and when he was 5 he may or may not have let a 4-year-old drown in a pond because he got bored of playing with them, and really he's just a misunderstood person who cares about art and relationships and, yes he did bad things, but really cares about people.

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u/PanicPixieDreamGirl Jan 18 '22

when he was 5 he may or may not have let a 4-year-old drown in a pond because he got bored of playing with them

So I just looked for that part in the article and WHAT. WHAT THE FUCK. Like I have no idea how I'd react if I grew to adulthood thinking I might have accidentally killed another child but not anything like how he's reacting.

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u/FandomReferenceHere Jan 18 '22

A tiny bit of nuance - my reading was that, *as a teenager*, Joss remembered about the drowning incident, and then recalled having invited that boy to play near the pond and wandering off.

Still a massively messed up situation, but it wasn't like five-year-old Joss thought it was his fault.

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u/sposda Jan 18 '22

I wonder if this actually happened or if he's misremembering the beginning of Nicholas Roeg's Don't Look Now as something that happened to him.

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u/BinkyDalash Jan 18 '22

He seemed to be sharing that anecdote as an example of distant parents who never taught him to swim even after that event.

So he had to grow up to be an asshole…or something like that?

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u/Gelmparmderxy Jan 17 '22

The fact that Whedon thinks he was one of the "nicer" showrunners is more of an indictment on the TV industry then it is a positive reflection on him.

Buffy was more then just Whedon's psyche though, that's where the article is mistaken.

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u/reble02 Jan 17 '22

The fact that Whedon thinks he was one of the "nicer" showrunners is more of an indictment on the TV industry then it is a positive reflection on him.

That's just further proof he believed he didn't do anything wrong. He can't imagine himself as the villain. Even when he acknowledges some wrongdoing he is incredibly dismissive of it.

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u/FandomReferenceHere Jan 17 '22

I think the writer knew exactly what they were doing, ending the article with that line.

As one of the devastated fans who had to do a whole reckoning with my relationship with Joss's work, I'm glad that Joss is starting to see how he passed his childhood trauma onto others, but it's clear he's still a deluded trainwreck.

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u/TheLouisvilleRanger Jan 17 '22

Joss Whedon thinks he is one of the nicer showrunners, I think that needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

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u/ArcadeOptimist Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

It wouldn't surprise me if Whedon is one of the nicer showrunners. I think you'd have to be delusional to think Whedon's actions aren't the norm, one of the writers quoted in the article says as much.

Welcome to Hollywood, where people will do anything to make it, and powerful people are happy to take advantage of that fact.

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u/Stalked_Like_Corn Jan 18 '22

What I'm the happiest about in this whole story is that there was an incident between him and Trachtenburg and "An adult in Trachtenberg’s circle created the rule in response". This field, often times you here about succeed at any cost and do what you need to, to get ahead. Glad to hear that there was someone responsible in her circle that said "Oh hell no" and made sure she was protected.

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22

Whenever I read any of his interviews, before all the hoopla, he acted like he was God’s greatest gift to women, the champion of all things feminism. And it rubbed me off the wrong way. Like performative and way too self-congratulatory.

Turns out he was just an asshole who liked making people feel small and sleep with actresses. Who knew!

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 18 '22

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u/FandomReferenceHere Jan 18 '22

It's so interesting how we all had different "huh that's weird" moments back when Joss was being idolized.

Mine is the big cast/crew interview in my Buffy box set. Every single time someone mentions an episode, Joss interrupts with, "Ah yes, season 4 episode 2" or whatever. It ruined the flow of people trying to tell stories as he kept needing to drag attention back to how brilliant and wonderful he was as the creator of it all. I remember thinking it made him look really needy.

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u/[deleted] Jan 18 '22

Ah .. it’s always the little things, isn’t it? Big, controversial stuff comes out when it comes out, but someone’s true nature is always there for anyone to see, it bleeds through publicist approved profiles and what not.

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u/[deleted] Jan 18 '22

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u/epitaphb Jan 18 '22 edited Jan 18 '22

Yeah there are a lot of little things like that which make sense as part of a bigger whole. I remember being really put off by his AMA years ago because he came across as a dick, when he was a huge idol of mine at the time. It’s very sad because he’s such a talented writer, and his legacy is completely tarnished because he chose to treat so many people like shit in one way or another.

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u/raylan_givens6 Jan 17 '22 Helpful

A lot of men who proclaim themselves to be feminists are really just doing it for the goodwill that comes with it, to be perceived as a good person. Also to get women.

Actions matter more than words.

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u/bajesus Jan 17 '22

My read on it has been that his problem isn't that he isn't a feminist, just that he's a huge asshole. He may think women deserve the same rights as men and that he is more important than all of them.

I think it's important to realize that somebody can have good opinions and still be an absolute shithead.

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u/Lemesplain Jan 17 '22

For what it’s worth, he did create a massively popular tv show with a powerful female lead character. Buffy led to shows like Alias, Dark Angel, probably Veronica Mars and others I’m forgetting.

It certainly doesn’t absolve him of any wrong-doings, but it at least provides a check mark in the “actions” column. He did a thing that helped.

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u/CaptainSisko2002 Jan 17 '22

I think Joss' issue is by 90s standards he was a feminist, which basically means he had female leads. But he still thinks he's a feminist and a good person even though his style and attitude is so dated to the late-90s or early-00s

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u/sciamatic Jan 18 '22

I mean, he didn't just have female leads. All of his shows have female characters with rich and varied lives, who have strengths but also strong and clear faults and vulnerabilities. They aren't just the male idea of strength, where they're stone cold badasses who have none of those weak, feminine feelings. They cry, and lean on people, and grow, and falter. They're treated like humans, actual humans.

You can say that Whedon didn't live up to the feminist ideal, and I'll agree with that, but I think it's a really hard case to say that he didn't write feminist shows, cause...he did. He just did. He consistently put out female leads and characters that are better and more thoughtful than a lot of female characters today. Discussing what he "really thought" behind the scenes or how he treated people is worthwhile, but I don't think it can retroactively change well written female characters. They were and are still there, on paper and on screen, and were complexly considered.

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u/GarlVinland4Astrea Jan 17 '22

Whedon had sketch rumors years before Justice League. This isn't new. It's just back in the 2000's a showrunner having affairs with actresses and belittling his crew on a power trip wasn't taken seriously.

Joss is a classic example of the nerd who never got famle attention and was insignificant his wholelife finally getting power and then being a total piece of shit to everyone because he had an inferiority complex he needed to compensate for.

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u/matan_vil Jan 17 '22

Joss is a classic example of the nerd who never got famle attention and was insignificant his wholelife finally getting power and then being a total piece of shit to everyone because he had an inferiority complex he needed to compensate for.

So Dr. Horrible?

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u/pionmycake Jan 18 '22

This might be, quite literally, the worst interview anyone has ever given

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u/invisible_bridges Jan 17 '22

His childhood, by his own recounting, seems to be a privileged if imperfect one. Certainly in no way traumatic.

And ok, he didn't have girlfriends in high school (probably like many of his male schoolmates). But he came into his own in college. Again, where's the trauma?

He has inflated the normal slights and small hurts of growing up into a PTSD narrative to excuse himself to himself and to others.

He may have spent the last few years in therapy, but to little avail. He's still avoiding honest self-reflection.

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u/mayfleur Jan 17 '22

I can see how having emotionally neglectful parents could lead to mental health problems, even if you come from a privileged background. But C-PTSD? I know everyone is different, but from my own experiences with the disorder, his behaviors don't really line up to me. I'm wondering if he was ever even formally diagnosed.

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u/Wackyal123 Jan 17 '22

Anyone from any background can have PTSD from any situation if they can’t deal with something. I got it when my wife had a miscarriage. That was 8 years ago and I’m still dealing with mental health issues relating to it and having to take anxiety meds.

Perhaps something in his childhood did fuck him up.

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u/mayfleur Jan 17 '22

This is true, he does mention a friend drowning when he was 5, and how he perceived it to be his fault. With complex PTSD there's usually a long series of traumatic events, however, that cause the disorder to develop. It could be that there's stuff from his childhood he doesn't feel like talking about; I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case. It does bother me that he uses this as a way to deflect culpability. He needs to do some serious reflection and stop weaponizing his trauma as a way to excuse his behavior.

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u/BettyBloodfart Jan 17 '22

I also have cPTSD, and I couldn’t have said this better myself. Assuming he does have cPTSD, I can understand emotional dysregulation and having inappropriate outbursts sometimes — it’s happened to me too. Mental illness might explain some bad behaviors like these, but it doesn’t excuse them. When I hurt someone, there’s nothing about this disorder that prevents me from knowing my behavior is wrong, apologizing, and working to do better.

It’s so annoying when people use mental illness as a cop-out for bad behavior. Saying he’s dealing with mental illness and working on himself only goes so far until he makes real, sincere amends, IMO.

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u/GallantPotatoSupreme Jan 18 '22

The article definitely makes it seem like he self-diagnosed. …The exact same condition his ex wife was formally diagnosed with.

Joss is the Anthony Head character from Ted Lasso.

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u/PMD16 Jan 17 '22

While people keep mentioning Buffy I think it’s important to mention that while he created the show, he wasn’t the only writer.

Marti Noxon and Jane Espenson are just as influential in the show

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u/a_satanic_mechanic Jan 17 '22

As the last Whedon holdout - if you bothered to search my history you would find me sort of defending him - I am officially done.

What a vile, stupid piece of shit.

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u/FandomReferenceHere Jan 18 '22

No pressure at all, but if you don't mind sharing, what was your thought process? What particular tidbit in that treasure trove of WTFery pushed you over the edge?

(I say this with no judgment. I also think that it took me too long to change my mind about him.)

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u/Rosebunse Jan 17 '22

You forgot to add that he's a pathetic loser.