If You Weren’t Convinced Joss Whedon’s A Creep, His Latest Interview Should Help Seal The Deal

If You Weren’t Convinced Joss Whedon’s A Creep, His Latest Interview Should Help Seal The Deal

You might remember Joss Whedon, creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and director of the worst of the two bad Justice League movies. It was revealed a while back that he’s a big fraud and a huge asshole. Well, now he’s emerged from cancellation, the reboot no one wanted, for an extensive interview with New York Magazine that he presumably thought would salvage his reputation. In reality, it plays out like an episode of "Law & Order” where the obviously guilty defendant is arrogant enough to testify on the stand, and Jack McCoy eviscerates his smug ass.

Writer Lila Shapiro’s profile includes such lines as "It was a perfect day in Santa Monica, as almost every day in Santa Monica is,” so Whedon probably had a good shot at bluffing his way through the interview and coming across like something resembling a mammal. He failed.

Picking up a cup of tea, Whedon said he could no longer remain silent as people tried to pry his legacy from his hands. But there was a problem. Those people had set out to destroy him and would surely seize on his every utterance in an attempt to finish the job. “I’m terrified,” he said, “of every word that comes out of my mouth.”

Oh, you should be, sir. Whedon is a Shakespeare devotee who can’t recognize his own tragic flaw.

Whedon dismissed (or worse tried to rationalize) the allegations from pretty much everyone he encountered professionally who said he was a monster on set.

“I was young,” he said. “I yelled, and sometimes you had to yell. This was a very young cast, and it was easy for everything to turn into a cocktail party.” He said he would never intentionally humiliate anyone. “If I am upsetting somebody, it will be a problem for me.” The costume designer who said he’d grabbed her arm? “I don’t believe that,” he said, shaking his head. “I know I would get angry, but I was never physical with people.” Had he made out with an actress on the floor of someone’s office? “That seems false. I don’t understand that story even a little bit.” He removed his glasses and rubbed his face. “I should run to the loo.”

That’s all deflective garbage. Also: Whedon was born in New York City and should never say the word “loo."

When Shapiro confronted Whedon about his multiple affairs on the “Buffy" set, he said, “I feel fucking terrible about them.” But, Shapiro writes, Whedon said he "had felt he 'had' to sleep with them, that he was 'powerless’ to resist.” They were young women, not actual vampire brides.

Actor Ray Fisher was the first member of the Justice League cast to accuse Whedon of gross behavior, but he wasn’t the last. Gal Gadot — freaking Wonder Woman — told reporters Whedon “threatened” her and said he’d “make her career miserable.” Whedon’s defense is absurd: "I don’t threaten people. Who does that?” Well, apparently you, motherfucker. Whedon’s trying to pretend threats don’t exist.

Oh, and then he said this shit:

He concluded she had misunderstood him. “English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech.”

Gadot told New York magazine that she does in fact understand English, especially threats from overly verbose assholes. Hebrew is her native language, but she started learning English in the third grade. It’s unlikely she would confuse a quote about tying her dead body to the railroad tracks, which is what she reportedly remembers, with “you are a fine actor whose professionalism I greatly respect.”

Not surprisingly, Gadot said she would never work with him again and would advise her peers to avoid him.

Whedon was brutal in his contempt for Fisher.

None of the claims Fisher made in the media were “either true or merited discussing,” Whedon told me. 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.”

Why would a relatively unknown actor try to take down the director of first two Avengers movies? Whedon’s defenders have a theory (it does not involve bunnies).

What if Fisher had been doing [original Justice League director Zack] Snyder’s bidding? Without furnishing proof, they speculated that Snyder had tricked Fisher into thinking Whedon was racist.

So, Snyder Svengali-ed Fisher into believing Whedon was racist. Did he also convince Gadot that Whedon’s pompous windbagging was actually him making clear and present threats to her personal safety and professional career? Look, Snyder’s movies may be shit, but there’s no evidence he treats his cast like shit. That’s all on Whedon. Warner Bros conducted an investigation into the allegations in 2020 and announced that “remedial action” was taken.

A few months after first speaking with Shapiro for the interview, Whedon claimed he’d “made peace” with himself.

“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. 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.

Jesus, someone open a window.


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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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