Buffy star James Marsters ‘heartbroken’ by Joss Whedon ‘toxic’ abuse allegations

James Marsters

Buffy the Vampire Slayer star James Marsters broke his silence on the accusations against Joss Whedon, saying he was “heartbroken” to hear his co-stars’ experiences.

Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase in Buffy and its spin-off Angel, accused Whedon of “repeated” abuses against her in an explosive statement on Wednesday (10 February).

She claimed the director would frequently “abuse his power” and undermine her with “mean and biting” behaviour, stoking her performance anxiety while disempowering her and “alienating” her from her peers. This culminated with her being “unceremoniously fired” after the birth of her child.

A number of other Buffy stars also made allegations in the wake of Carpenter’s claims, including actor Amber Benson, who alleged that the show was filmed amid “a toxic environment” that “started at the top”.

Marsters, who starred as the vampire Spike on the cult classic, expressed solidarity with his co-stars and acknowledged that there were difficulties on set.

“While I will always be honoured to have played the character of Spike, the Buffy set was not without challenges,” the actor wrote on Twitter on Friday (12 February).

“I do not support abuse of any kind, and am heartbroken to learn of the experiences of some of the cast. I send my love and support to all involved.”

Alongside Anthony Head, Marsters is one of the few male Buffy stars to raise issue with Joss Whedon’s conduct on the show.

Speaking last year on Michael Rosenbaum’s podcast Inside of You, Marsters detailed an allegedly aggressive interaction he had with Whedon over his character’s unexpected popularity.

“I came along, and I wasn’t designed to be a romantic character. But then the audience reacted that way to it,” he said. “And I remember [Whedon] backed me up against a wall one day, and he was just like, ‘I don’t care how popular you are, kid, you’re dead. You hear me? Dead. Dead!’

“And I was just like, ‘Uh, you know, it’s your football, man. OK,'” he recalled. Marsters went on to say that Whedon wasn’t kidding and didn’t apologise for the shocking incident.

According to Variety, Joss Whedon has so far declined to comment on the latest allegations.