‘Buffy’ Alum Michelle Trachtenberg Calls Out Joss Whedon’s ‘Not Appropriate Behavior’

Michelle Trachtenberg is the latest Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum to denounce mistreatment during her time on the hit series. The 35-year-old actress hinted at the “abuse” she was subjected to by Joss Whedon during her time on the show. Trachtenberg’s statement comes after Charisma Carpenter opened about about the “hostile” and “toxic” work environment she lived while pregnant on the Buffy spinoff, Angel.

Michelle Trachtenberg and Sarah Michelle Gellar
Michelle Trachtenberg and Sarah Michelle Gellar | Online USA/Getty Images

How was Charisma Carpenter mistreated?

Carpenter had only hinted at the issue she faced on the set of Angel, which ultimately led to her being written off the show. However, after participating in an investigation about Ray Fisher’s allegations of mistreatment by Whedon, Carpenter felt empowered to tell her story.

Buffy and Angel fans will remember that Carpenter was let go from her duties of playing Cordelia Chase on the drama series. This all coincided with Carpenter’s real-life pregnancy. Whedon and writers opted to place Cordelia in a coma only to wake up and be killed off later on.

“Joss intentionally refused multiple calls from my agents making it impossible to connect with him to tell him the news that I was pregnant,” Carpenter said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Finally, once Joss was apprised of the situation, he requested a meeting with me. In that closed-door meeting, he asked me if I was ‘going to keep it’ and manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me. 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.”

Clockwise from top left: Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg, Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy, and Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris in 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer.'
Clockwise from top left: Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg, Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy, and Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris in ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer.’ | Getty Images

Carpenter’s experience on the set became hostile and retaliatory against her. The actress recalled that while pregnant she was forced to work long hours.

“At six months pregnant, I was asked to report to work at 1:00 AM after my doctor recommended shortening my work hours,” Carpenter explained. “Due to long and physically demanding days and the emotional stress of having to defend my needs as a working pregnant woman, I began to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. It was clear to me the 1:00 AM call was retaliatory.”

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Michelle Trachtenberg echoes abuse

After Carpenter posted her story on Twitter, it quickly started trending on social media. It was inevitable for other stars of the Buffy-verse to not react and Sarah Michelle Gellar released a statement.

“While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon,” Gellar posted on Instagram. “I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently, so I will not be making any further statements at this time. But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.”

Michelle Trachtenberg and Joss Whedon
Michelle Trachtenberg and Joss Whedon | Albert L. Ortega/WireImage

After Gellar posted her statement, Trachtenberg took to her Instagram Stories in support.

“We know what he did. Behind. The Scenes,” she wrote.

Furthermore, Trachtenberg then made an Instagram post adding the following caption: “Thank you @sarahmgellar for saying this. I am brave enough now as a 35 year old woman….To repost this. Because. This must. Be known. As a teenager. With his not appropriate behavior….very. Not. Appropriate. So now. People know. What Joss. Did.”

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When a fan replied saying that they hoped Trachtenberg wasn’t subjected to the abuse, the Harriet the Spy alum added, “I was subjected to a lot.”

In a reply to her own post, Trachtenberg said, “You. Are my rock! What he did was very bad. But we win by surviving.”