“Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” started it all for the supernatural teen series genre. Buffy: The Vampire Slayer walked, so later shows as Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf could run. It was an iconic show that defined a generation, from the character’s costumes to having a female lead in an action-packed series.
Despite all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s accolades and recognition, there is an allegedly dark scene behind the cameras. Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played the titular character, had taken a break from acting for almost a decade. In her absence, many allegations about difficulties on the set of the show started popping up. It is a fact acknowledged by the actors that the filming conditions were extremely challenging, with the work hours always inserted in the conversation. Multiple actors have come forward to say that they were filming for 15 hours a day for the show, with intense action scenes, often bordering on danger. All these controversies seemed to center on the show’s creator, Joss Whedon. Based on what the actors on the show are saying, he made everything difficult and even caused some people mental health issues like anxiety.
Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase on Buffy, openly discussed her experiences on set on Twitter. The main person she blamed for the “toxic” environment was Joss Whedon. “He proceeded to attack my character, mock my religious beliefs, accuse me of sabotaging the show, and then unceremoniously fired me the following season once I gave birth.” She said of Whedon.
Sarah Michelle Gellar, the lead in Buffy, remained quiet about the allegations for a couple of years until she posted a statement on Instagram in solidarity with Carpenter and other actors Whedon allegedly abused. She said in the post that she treasured being Buffy Summers but that she did not want her name to be associated with Joss Whedon who created the show. But she did not spill any other details about what she experienced working with the creator.
Instead, her friends and co-stars from the show spoke for her. Emma Caulfield said that she felt that Gellar didn’t realize her full potential to lead the show through her actions or those of the other cast members because there was always some “animosity” from a member of the crew. In light of Whedon’s alleged abusive and unprofessional behavior in his recent projects, the world knows who was terrorizing the set of Buffy.
Sarah Michelle Gellar’s biggest supporter of the alleged abuse she took on the show is her husband, actor Freddie Prinze Jr. Prinze was quoted as saying, “She had to deal with a lot of bullshit on that show for all seven years it was on.” He also mentioned allegations like not getting enough credit for the show from the crew or not getting enough salary despite working 15-hour days every week. The actor also said that despite what his wife had gone through on Buffy, she was still able to deliver the message and make the show memorable for audiences.