Charisma Carpenter is a 50-year-old actress from Las Vegas who got her start on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as the popular high-schooler Cordelia Chase. The “Bound” actress also has 299 thousand followers on Instagram.
After “Justice League” actor Ray Fisher came forward alleging a toxic workplace environment from director Joss Whedon, Carpenter came forward to corroborate his claims, breaking her silence on her own experience with the “Buffy” showrunner.
After she moved to the spin-off show, “Angel,” Carpenter’s character was suddenly killed off during the show’s fourth season in a move that was widely regarded as one of the show’s worst moments.
It was widely believed that her hasty departure from the series was related to Whedon being upset with her real-life pregnancy, something Carpenter later confirmed.
In a lengthy Instagram post, she detailed several specific instances where she was allegedly harassed and bullied by Whedon. Many of these allegations were supported by her Whedonverse co-stars, including Michelle Trachtenberg, who revealed that there was a rule on set that Whedon was not allowed to be in the room alone with her.
Carpenter has since declined high-profile interviews in order to avoid the impression of being on a “publicity tour to air my grievances.”
Although she is grateful for the support she received, she admitted that coming forward with her experience could have ended her career.
“I was taking a really big risk by saying this,” Carpenter said. “I go to cons all the time, and it’s a great deal of my income these days.”
Many of Whedon’s shows have developed a dedicated following over the past several years, which gave the “Supernatural” star pause before speaking out.
“I was really putting myself in a position to alienate my fandom by speaking out,” Carpenter continued. “I go to these conventions where people walk with T-shirts on their back saying ‘Joss Whedon is my God.’ I was really afraid of insulting them, offending them, alienating them.”
But after Fisher came forward with his own experience working under Whedon, Carpenter knew it was time to speak up.
“It’s easier to advocate for other people than for yourself, and I knew certainly twenty years ago that wasn’t an option,” Carpenter added. “When I saw twenty years later that the same person was doing the same things … that’s how it all happened. … When [Fisher] was let go from the Cyborg role, that was it.”
Keep scrolling to see the rest of the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” cast statements regarding Whedon’s alleged workplace harassment.