Joss Whedon Fan Site Whedonesque Shuts Down After Ex-Wife Accuses Him of Infidelity

The Internet’s biggest Joss Whedon fan site announced today that it is shutting down after Whedon’s ex-wife accused him of infidelity and called him a hypocritical feminist.

Whedonesque, which launched in 2002 during the original run of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, posted an update on Monday morning saying that “it’s time to say goodbye” and that the website will become read-only going forward.

The announcement does not explicitly mention the recent allegations from Joss Whedon’s ex-wife Kai Cole. But it concludes by encouraging users to donate to a charity that treats Complex post-traumatic stress disorder. This is a clear reference to Whedon’s ex-wife, who said in her essay that she was diagnosed with Complex PTSD.

Joss Whedon and ex-wife Kai Cole

Joss Whedon and his ex-wife Kai Cole. | Getty Images

Still, there were other factors behind the decision to shut down the fan site. Owner Caroline van Oosten de Boer told users today that she had been considering shutting down Whedonesque for the past five years. She said that some of the reasons were that she lost interest in the subject matter and that the site needed technical improvements that she did not have the time or resources to implement.

In the comments section of the announcement, members of the Whedonesque community mourned the site and shared links to their social media pages so they could keep in touch. They also debated whether closing the site was the right decision, especially if the recent controversy was a major factor.

“For my part, I don’t think any of this is our business,” user Let Down wrote. “It also doesn’t make me respect Mr. Whedon’s work any less.”

Others disagreed, saying that they were troubled by the allegations against their favorite writer and director.

“I understand that everyone is human, but this news is still incredibly disheartening considering the iconic status to which I held Joss,” user bknick wrote.

In an essay published in The Wrap on Sunday, Joss Whedon’s ex-wife Kai Cole alleges that he had an affair on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and then proceeded to have multiple affairs over the course of 15 years with actresses, co-workers, fans, and friends. Cole also calls Whedon, who is an outspoken feminist, a hypocrite.

“Despite understanding, on some level, that what he was doing was wrong, he never conceded the hypocrisy of being out in the world preaching feminist ideals, while at the same time, taking away my right to make choices for my life and my body based on the truth,” Cole writes. “He deceived me for 15 years, so he could have everything he wanted.”

Joss Whedon has not directly responded to the allegations from his ex-wife. However, in a statement provided to The Wrap, a spokesperson said that Cole’s account is not accurate.

This is not the first time this year that Joss Whedon has faced criticism online. In June, an unproduced Wonder Woman script written by Whedon leaked; fans criticized Whedon for sexualizing the titular hero and for making the story more about the male protagonist, Steve Trevor, than about Diana Prince herself.

Whedon fans also criticized the director in 2015 for his movie Avengers: Age of Ultron, in which Black Widow begins a relationship with Bruce Banner and says that she is a monster because she can’t have children.

Although the Whedonesque website will be shut down, the @Whedonesque Twitter account will live on.