Director Joss Whedon breaks silence, denies threatening Gal Gadot's career, Latest Movies News - The New Paper

Director Joss Whedon breaks silence, denies threatening Gal Gadot's career

LOS ANGELES - Director and showrunner Joss Whedon has broken his months of silence after numerous allegations of bullying and abuse surfaced on past projects.

These include superhero movie Justice League (2017) and cult television shows Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 to 2003) and spin-off Angel (1999 to 2004).

One of the biggest stars to speak out was Wonder Woman lead Gal Gadot, 36, who worked with the 57-year-old director on Justice League and alleged in 2021 that he had threatened to make her career "miserable".

Addressing the allegations in an interview with New York Magazine which was published on Monday (Jan 17), Whedon said: "I don't threaten people. Who does that?

"English is not her first language and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech."

Whedon explained that he had joked with Gadot about not wanting to cut a specific scene of hers from the film, saying she would have to tie him to a railroad track and do it over his dead body. According to him, she thought he had said over her dead body.

However, when contacted by the magazine, Gadot remembered the exchange differently, saying: "I understood perfectly."

Even before Gadot had come forward, actor Ray Fisher, 34, who played Cyborg in Justice League, had accused Whedon in 2020 of "gross, abusive, unprofessional and completely unacceptable" behaviour on the reshoot of the movie.

The original director of the DC movie, Zack Snyder, had stepped away from the project after his daughter's suicide.

Fisher's role, the first black superhero in a DC movie, was cut by Whedon and his skin tone was digitally lightened.

However, Whedon denied that he behaved inappropriately and said Cyborg's storyline made no sense and that he had brightened everything in the film in post-production.

"We're talking about a malevolent force," Whedon said, referring to Fisher. "We're talking about a bad actor in both senses."

A television still of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.PHOTO: HBO MAX

The movie, one of the most expensiveever made, received mixed reviews and flopped at the box office.

Fisher, who had his scenes restored in Snyder's cut of the film which was released in 2021 to appease fans, wrote in response to Whedon's remarks on Twitter on Monday: "Looks like Joss Whedon got to direct an endgame after all."

As for allegations of abuse on the sets of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, levelled against him by actresses Charisma Carpenter and Michelle Trachtenberg, he admitted he was "not mannerly".

He added he sometimes had to yell at the cast as "this was a very young cast and it was easy for everything to turn into a cocktail party".

He said that people had been using "every weaponisable word of the modern era to make it seem like I was an abusive monster".

"I think I'm one of the nicer showrunners that's ever been."

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