So that happened... Whedon's “history of creating toxic and hostile work environments”

I don’t know how far I want to go down this road, as I don’t want to be seen as “victim blaming”, and had there been any sort of sexual or exploitive allegations, then that changes things entirely.

But I’ve had co-workers who tested the patience of even the most affable bosses. I’ve had employees who have tested my patience.

Yep. It happens all the time. Directors should plan for it. I mean Gal Gadot was pregnant when she was playing Wonder Woman! And a series goes on for years. It’s completely unreasonable to expect an actor to control es fertility perfectly over that time.

Decades and decades of production history have offered ways to accommodate pregnancy. There’s zero excuse for being even a little bit nasty about it.

I don’t think I said anything about a boycott. How can you boycott something that has been available for almost 2 decades? Just replace him like they did on his new show. Show goes on, everyone but him still working.

As for lesser known people, they are often prosecuted for other crimes and the sexual harassment stuff seems to fall by the wayside. It shouldn’t, but it does.

You feel farms and sweatshops don’t get boycotted? Have you never heard of Cesar Chavez? Or United Students Against Sweatshops?

Do they get boycotted because a boss belittled an employee? Or is it more because they chain the fire exits shut and make people work 15 hours/day for shit pay?

My no-doubt-clumsy point was that - regardless of the perceived ethical standing of most businesses - a boss being a bullying arsehole to some employees won’t be newsworthy, so won’t cause a boycott.

What makes you think this pertains to the allegations here?

This may be neither here nor there but in the history of Cordelia Chase up to this point she has almost been killed by mystical pregnancy twice already (and she never recovers from the third one that they wrote into the story to coincide with her real life pregnancy). So I read it as possible that Joss was making a dry joke at the expense of the character and Charisma Carpenter failed to see the humor in it and assumed he was being literal. Having said that, I don’t take issue with the idea that Joss Whedon might also be a straight up asshole.

If you’ve gotten all the way to adulthood and haven’t figured out that you NEVER joke with a pregnant woman about her pregnancy then, well, you’re gonna have a bad time. SHE can joke about it but unless you know her at least as well as (or better than) the person who knocked her up then best to confine your comments to “Congratulations, when are you due?” :stuck_out_tongue:

Heh. You’re right. But “makes a joke that shouldn’t be made, dude” and “tries to pressure a subordinate into an abortion she doesn’t want by threatening her job”: neither’s a good move, but one’s worse than the other.

If a bunch of people came out and said, “Charisma Carpenter, she’s a nightmare to work with, makes unreasonable demands and then twists everything you say to make it sound terrible, avoid her like the plague,” I’d be feeling a little more sympathy to Whedon. But it seems like exactly the opposite is happening. I don’t know enough to judge this situation; but the people closest to it seem to be landing pretty squarely in Carpenter’s camp.

What makes you think that it doesn’t?

I made my statement based on the stories and the actual descriptions by those who felt that they were mistreated, you know, the actual evidence at hand, rather than building on the suspicions and accusations of others, as many have done in this thread.

When I first heard these allegations come out, I thought, “What an asshole.” Now we have a thread where people are accusing him of sexaul abuse, with no evidence whatsoever, and calling him all manner of horrible. He’s been accused of having “rape fantasies” based on watching two episodes of one of his shows. He’s even being accused of being a child molestor, on what evidence, exactly?

I kept looking for this evidence to back up the assertions that were being made, but found it pretty lacking.

The more I look into these stories, the less I find actually supporting the conclusions that everyone seems to have jumped to.

It sounds like, out of the thousands of people that he has worked with, there were a few people who he didn’t get along with, and who didn’t get along with him. That doesn’t make him the monster that everyone is making him out to be.

FWIW, I’m of the opinion that he absolutely DID bully and threaten her because of the sheer number of men I’ve observed directly complaining and being dicks about women getting pregnant and taking maternity leave. I’ve seen supervisors pulled into Uncomfortable Meetings With HR over their comments and expectations regarding how pregnant women in the workplace should conduct themselves and given the self centeredness of your average media/entertainment mogul I’d frankly be more surprised to find one being supportive and helpful with a surprise pregnancy on the set than otherwise. Acting like the world revolves around them and their projects is SOP with those guys.

And that’s not just men. I’ve seen plenty of woman supervisors who have been upset at the inconvenience that a pregnant employee causes.

Sure, but you’re more likely to get empathy from someone who’s likely been in your shoes and a lot of the time the animus comes from pressure above the supervisor to “do something” about the situation.

I absolutely know that sort of thing happens, from talking with women. Closest my personal experience comes to it was when I asked for three weeks of parent leave; our (female) secretary sneered at me and told me how her husband took just three days, as though I was being ridiculous. I can’t imagine how she acted toward people asking for more leave.

“Wow, I’m sorry you married such a poor father. You gonna put my PTO request through or what?”

It is inconvenient and staffing problems can be a real pain in the ass. But you put on your big manager’s pants and you manage without trying to make the employee feel like she’s at fault for doing her part to ensure the survival of the species. I remember I had a manager who wanted to promote a woman but voiced his concerns that she might get pregnant and potentially be out on FMLA during a busy portion of the year. My words said, “You can’t take that into consideration in your decision on who to promote,” but I’d like to think my face said, “Are you fucking kidding me with this shit?”

There’s a long piece on Jezebel about Whedon. It is mostly perspective, with no new evidence or accusations.

Most of the article is about why Whedon was perceived as a feminist champion. Which can be summed up with the quote

[Buffy the Vampire Slayer] was vested with all the era’s longing for something better than what was available, something different, a champion for a conflicted “post-feminist” era—even if she was an imperfect or somewhat incongruous vessel. It wasn’t just Sunnyvale that needed a chosen Slayer, it was an entire generation of women.

It concludes with the very valid statement, which the article points out is often overlooked, that Buffy wasn’t just made by Whedon, but also by lots of women. Giving him too much credit for its themes and voice is taking away from all of the women behind and in front of the camera who were also an integral part of Buffy’s importance as a feminist story.

I read and enjoyed that article, but I thought that last bit was a bit pointless. I mean, on the one hand, it’s obviously true. On the other hand, we weren’t there. Maybe the vast majority of the feminist girl-power empowerment was in fact fairly directly from Joss’s brain to the screen. Or maybe it was mostly added by collaborators. We just don’t know. But I think it would be intellectually lazy to say “Joss has now been demonstrated to be a narcissistic asshole who treated his actors, particularly female actors, abusively… therefore clearly any feminism or enlightenment or progressiveness we thought we saw in his works must in fact be a fraud or a phony or a lie… oh, phew, women worked on it too, they must be responsible for all the good parts!”.

JK Rowling proves that even with a single artist working basically alone (modulo editors), we can have the contradiction of someone whose work seems to be progressive and diverse in many ways; but who in their personal beliefs seems to fall quite short of that ideal.

It think it’s clear that you can be a bad husband and a bad employer without necessarily killing what value people might see in works to which you contributed. To the extent that Buffy, for example, exhibited or helped advance feminist values, I disagree that they are proven to be lies by the exposure of Whedon’s behavior.

And it seems clear that while what Carpenter says about Whedon that he might have taken actions that for an employer would likely be considered to constitute pregnancy discrimination, and, thus, sex discrimination, it also seems that he was abusive in general to other employees. So his problem isn’t just that he abused women. You don’t have to be a sexist to use your power to abuse the people in your charge.