Sarah Michelle Gellar certainly knows how to vanquish villainous creatures on screen, but in a recent panel, she revealed that she was dealing with them—or at least one in particular—behind the scenes as well.
“For so long, I was on a set that I think was known for being an extremely toxic male set,” Gellar said during TheWrap‘s recent Power of Women Summit. “And so that was ingrained in my head that that was what all sets were like, and that women were pitted against each other—that if women became friends, then we became too powerful, so you had to keep that down.”
While Gellar, who starred as Buffy Summers in the ’90s mega-hit Buffy The Vampire Slayer, did not explicitly name director Joss Whedon in her comments, it is not hard to read between the lines. Last year, multiple actors such as buffy co star Charisma Carpenter and Justice League‘s Gal Gadot and Ray Fisher accused the director of “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behavior on set, such as threatening their careers and calling a then-pregnant Carpenter “fat.” (whedon denied these claims and referred to himself as “one of the nicer showrunners that’s ever been” in a response vulnerability profile.)
While Gellar has remained largely silent on the allegations thus far, she did write “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,” in a 2021 instagram post.
In her recent comments, however, she took the opportunity to praise the supportive coworkers she’s experienced in the proceeding years. “Now that I’ve had this opportunity to work with so many more women and men that support women as well, I realized how easy an experience it can be,” she said. “Unfortunately, we’re still in that place where all of those departments a lot of times need to be women for us to have a voice.”