Earlier this week, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel star Charisma Carpenter spoke out about emotional abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of creator Joss Whedon, with co-star Eliza Dushku taking to social media to share her support for the actress. Dushku is the latest Buffy star to address the issue, with Sarah Michelle Gellar also sharing her support for the actress while Michelle Trachtenberg echoed comments about Whedon's unprofessional behavior on the series. Carpenter's statement came in the wake of Justice League star Ray Fisher's quest to hold Whedon accountable for the way the actor claims to have been treated on the set of the film, with Carpenter having taken part in the investigation into the situation.
"I'm so sorry you have held this for so long. Your post was powerful, painful, and painted a picture we'll collectively never un-see or un-know. Thank you. I hadn't known it and I won't forget it," Dushku shared on Instagram. "I frequently think of the saying, "We are as sick as our secrets." Our secrets indeed make and keep us sick. What I'm learning more and more — and have personally found most valuable — is that profound healing can only come from naming and disclosing what actually happened, the necessary first step (once someone's ready) to freeing ourselves from our secrets, untold truths which have kept us isolated, ashamed and held hostage."
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Dushku played Faith in both Buffy and Angel.
Carpenter shared her statement on Twitter, alleging that Whedon regularly claimed that her job was in jeopardy, while also asking her to work under extreme physical conditions while she was pregnant.
"Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers," Carpenter's statement reads. "The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer. It is with a beating, heavy heart that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively."
When Whedon learned of Carpenter's pregnancy, she claims he asked her if she was going to "keep it" and "manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me."
Dushku expressed her overall disappointment when it comes to abuse within the industry, as she noted that "neglecting to 'name' the power/gender/sexual/racial abuse epidemic in the entertainment industry (and for that matter society in general), enables the abusers and only emboldens and ultimately fortifies abusive systems."
Back in 2018, Dushku herself shared that she was sexually assaulted by a crewmember while working on True Lies. The actress was 12 at the time of filming.