This is without a doubt, one of the most stunning profiles I've ever read:
The reader is treated to long paragraphs of self-immolation before Whedon concludes that his problem is that he's the best guy ever.
“Could I have done marriage better?” he asked. “Don’t get me started. Could I have been a better showrunner? Absolutely. Should I have been nicer?” He considered the question. Perhaps he could have been calmer, more direct. But would that not have compromised the work? Maybe the problem was he’d been too nice, he said."
Yeah, that wasn't the problem Joss.
On Twitter, some people are criticizing the writer, Lila Shapiro, claiming she produced a puff piece. Are you out of your freaking minds? This is no puff piece, this is a stellar example of giving a person enough rope to hang themselves.
And hang himself he did.
There are too many crazy pull quotes in this piece, but here is one of my favorites.
“English is not her (Gal Gadot) first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech.”
I never threatened her, she doesn't understand English and I use words too big for the stupid bitch to get. Some of it's my fault for having a big vocabulary though.
There was a time when Whedon was basically a God on the internet and in fandom. I myself was a huge fan of both Buffy and Angel. I've seen both series numerous times.
But I hated Firefly and Dollhouse, so either Whedon got worse, or I woke up. I think it was the latter. Reading this profile, he is condemned by his own words as a very disturbed man, a raging narcissist, and a bully.
I think his statements about Ray show him to be racist:
"He could think of only one way to explain Fisher’s motives. “We’re talking about a malevolent force,” he said. “We’re talking about a bad actor in both senses.”
Oh the black guy is the malevolent force, is he Joss? As far as stating Fisher is a bad actor, that's subjective I suppose, but IMO the Snyder Cut showed both the actor and the character to be pretty awesome.
"On our second day of interviews, I asked Whedon about his affairs on the set of Buffy. He looked worse than he had the day before. His eyes were faintly bloodshot. He hadn’t slept well. “I feel fucking terrible about them,” he said. When I pressed him on why, he noted “it messes up the power dynamic,” but he didn’t expand on that thought. 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.”
He, the older man in power, was powerless to resist! I seriously couldn't make this shit up.
No one has ever revealed who the actresses in question are, and I think that's for the best. Although, the other side of that is that the guessing game continues, and no doubt some who have been speculated about never slept with him.
In the years after becoming a Buffy fan, I learned, the hard way, that when a man calls himself a "male feminist" you should run. I mean, Joss Whedon didn't teach me that, though if I were paying attention he could have.
I'd say this interview is career-ending, but who really knows in Hollywood. Or, in corporate America.
It's definitely something that should be read by every woman. Here we have a toxic, abusive man, who claims to have spent years in therapy all to conclude that his big problem is he's too nice. If this all wasn't so fucking awful I would laugh so hard.
Other than being a self-described male feminist, another kiss of death was Scarjo going on about how great he is.
This one mashup is really funny:
I saw the original interview, which took place on Zoom, thanks to Covid, and Kevin Feige's face really did change, and so did Florence Pugh's. It was pretty funny, but so on-brand for "my best friend is the totally innocent Woody Allen" Scarjo. No one asked her about Whedon either! She just decided it was a great idea, post Ray Fisher, to start yapping!
That's our Scarjo.
I honestly have no doubt that Whedon didn't pull his shit on the Avengers set though. That group of actors were so A list (and famously close-knit) by then, I don't think he would try it. I'm open to being wrong about that though.
But it's always back to Buffy that I go. I've known for years now that he basically ruined Charisma Carpenter's career, and I love her so. He fired her for being pregnant. This has been known for years in the fandom.
I really don't know how many Buffy/Angel careers he ruined. I know Sarah Michelle Gellar can't stand him.
We'll likely never know all of the damage he caused to women, all the while being the internet's most celebrated feminist. I won't even qualify that with "male". He was seriously a celebrated feminist at the time. Everyone wanted his Wonder Woman to be made. And people were all like "well, don't you want a feminist Wonder Woman? who else would you get to make it then?"
As if women didn't exist.
He probably got off on that.
What do we do about Buffy and Angel? Pretend Whedon doesn't exist? Enjoy the art, forget the artist? A lot of other very talented artists were involved in creating those series, including the casts. And some of them were victims of Whedon's abuses of power, and sickness.
I don't know. I only know that my now long-standing policy of laughing when a man describes himself as a feminist, has been validated once again. And has endured for a reason. Whedon is only one of those reasons.
The me from 2000 would be so devastated by all of this. Now I'm just like, yep, sounds about right. Is that really a good thing though? To have grown so cynical, and to almost always have that cynicism lived down to.
I actually kind of hate him for that.