In March, 2020, New York famously went on "pause". Governor Cuomo, kind of petulantly IMO, refused to call it a shutdown or shelter in place. He was all like, you fools in California may be sheltering in place but here in NY we are just taking a little pause.
Look, men are gonna be dicks, and at the time I had bigger fish to fry. I lived alone. I was sick (still don't know if I had Covid) and so refused to allow my mom to come over. She was very isolated. I was isolated. And scared. I remember feeling like this cannot be real.
I guess for that reason, I decided to rewatch Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It's one of my all-time favorite shows. I mean, in the late 90's, trust me, Buffy was the shit. It really was in its way, revolutionary or ground-breaking, however you want to put it. And I was just in love with it. Later, I enjoyed Angel just as much. Some have a favorite, but I loved them both in different ways.
And I believed that Joss Whedon was a feminist.
So yeah, I do feel like a fool. Was he laughing at me and young women like me everywhere? Did he get off on fooling us?
Listen, the latest revelations brought about by Charisma Carpenter, who was coming out to defend Ray Fischer, weren't exactly a shock at this point.
You can read about Fisher's allegations here, and that's where I speculated that Whedon had actually been fired from The Nevers by HBO, because of the result of the Warner Brothers' investigation into Fisher's allegations. I thought it was kind of obvious.
I didn't know or even suspect that Charisma Carpenter was cooperating with the investigation. And then she dropped this:
For years, there has been speculation and rumors that Carpenter was fired from Angel over her pregnancy. Now we know this to be fact, and further, that she also suffered a lot of emotional abuse at the hands of Joss Whedon.
When I rewatched Buffy during NY Pause, sure I saw the problems. There are things that don't hold up well. The lack of diversity NEVER held up, even at the time. Some of the writing for Buffy seems unfeminist to say the least. Punishing, even.
But for me, Whedon showed himself more, years later, in The Avengers when he wrote a rape joke and had Ironman tell it. Like, WTF?
The scene where The Avengers each try and lift Thor's hammer, Thor agrees that whoever can lift it can rule Asgard. When Tony Stark's turn comes he says that if he wins:
"I will be reinstituting prima nocta."
Prima Nocta: all noble lords, whether kings or dukes, had the right to have sex with any of their female subjects—regardless of their will and even with a virgin bride—on her wedding night.
So, that's rape. Joss Whedon had a superhero "joke" that, if given power, he would become a serial, mass rapist.
From the first time I saw The Avengers, that moment really ruined a lot of the movie for me. I always wondered why Robert Downey Jr. agreed to say it. Shouldn't you have some pride and ownership in a character so much of your life goes into creating and embodying? Shouldn't he have known that NO superhero should ever make a rape joke?
But the responsible party is Joss Whedon and of that there is no doubt. Even at the time, I KNEW he had written that line. I could picture him saying it. That was the most Joss Whedon line ever. And if I knew that this rape joke was the most Joss Whedon line ever, I must have known a lot more than I wanted to about Whedon by 2012, huh?
In Age of Ultron I always cringed at the scene where grown ass man, Bruce Banner, falls between Black Widow's breasts and it's "awkward". As if he and she were both 13. So juvenile, but I did not yet recognize it as a Whedon obsession.
Not until Justice League when he had the same exact thing happen between Flash and Wonder Woman. And was so deterimend to repeat this idiotic juvenile skit that he had a body double film the scene when Gal Gadot refused to do it.
And there's a story that he locked Gadot in a room and threatened her career over it. It's a story we should hear, but we won't. Gadot won't come out with it, even in the wake of Fisher's allegations, to which she did state she had a bad experience with Whedon but that she "took care of it right there".
I know it has to be up to the woman what to tell and when to tell it, but I am a little disappointed about this from Gal, because Ray Fisher was written out of The Flash over this shit. And this isn't right.
Back to Buffy, I may have suspected a lot of shit about Whedon, but I never suspected this:
Trachtenberg was 15 when she joined the cast. I don't know how old she was when a rule was made forbidding Whedon to be alone with her. But I think we all know she was underage at the time.
WHO forbid this? Who knew enough to make the rule, had the power to make the rule, and allowed this creep to keep his reputation so decades later he could go on to destroy the career of a young black actor? These are also questions we all deserve to have answered.
I always believed I'd rewatch Buffy and Angel, from time to time, for the rest of my life. It's this week that I realized I don't see myself ever watching either of them again. This feels like a loss, and it hurts. Like losing old friends.
Whedon makes my skin crawl now, and even though I know a lot of other very talented people, including the casts, made those shows, I can't help hearing Whedon's smarmy voice behind the dialogue.
So I'm done with all that.
Warner Brothers and Marvel both better keep their heads up. Because I doubt I'll ever watch the first two Avengers again either. And I refuse to go see The Flash (a character I LOVE) if they do not write Ray Fisher back into his role.
Boys, I'm done with all this shit. I'm done with all your shit. Get busy you motherfuckers, you got a lotta work to do.