A lengthy feature piece published Monday in New York magazine tracks the meteoric rise, and public fall, of Joss Whedon, who created the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, and directed blockbusters including Avengers and its sequel Age of Ultron.
As previously reported, Whedon had been accused of bullying behavior on the sets of his former shows. His reshoots of Justice League, following the death by suicide of director Zack Snyder‘s daughter, resulted in a box office failure, and later, more accusations were leveled against Whedon.
Co-star Gal Gadot had accused Whedon of threatening her career and her life. To New York, he claimed his argument with the Israeli actress was lost in translation. “English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech,” he insisted.
“I understood perfectly,” Gadot replied to that comment.
Actor Ray Fisher played Cyborg in Justice League, and he blamed racism for his role being cut down significantly. Fisher had called Whedon’s behavior “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable.”
To New York, Whedon said the Cyborg character was cut because test audiences hated it, and that the role — restored in the so-called Snyder Cut — “made no sense.”
He added that Fisher was a “malevolent force,” jumping on the bandwagon in part to bolster support for the eventual release of the Snyder Cut: “We’re talking about a bad actor in both senses.”
Joss admitted to multiple affairs that led his wife, Kai Cole, to divorce him — and publicly out him as a hypocrite — but he also added he “felt powerless” not to sleep with some of the people working under him.
Whedon told New York he felt he was “made a target” by his ex-wife, and claimed that people, in turn, used “every weaponizable word of the modern era to make it seem like I was an abusive monster.” He added, “I think I’m one of the nicer showrunners that’s ever been.”
The one-time critical and geek-sphere darling, noted, “The beginning of the internet raised me up, and the modern internet pulled me down. The perfect symmetry is not lost on me.”
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