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The Whedon Studies Association, a society of academics dedicated to the study of the works of Joss Whedon, wonders whether to change his name. Fans who grew up with her flagship show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and who planned to introduce her to their children are struggling with what to do.

A few said they regret tattoos inspired by Buffy and other shows created by Mr. Whedon.

For years, fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which aired on the WB and UPN from 1997 to 2003, had to reconcile their adoration for a show about a teenage girl killing monsters with the reviews that often swirled around its creator. .

Mr. Whedons’ first reputation as a feminist storyteller was tarnished after his ex-wife, producer Kai Cole, accused him to cheat on her and lie about it. Actress Charisma Carpenter, star of the Buffy Angel spin-off, alludes to a fan convention in 2009 that Mr. Whedon was not happy when she got pregnant.

In July, Ray Fisher, an actor who starred in Mr. Whedons’ 2017 film Justice League, accused him of rude and abusive treatment of the actors and the team. Mr. Whedon disputed some of Mr. Fishers’ accusations, and said his ex-wives 2017 Account included inaccuracies and misrepresentation.

Wednesday, Mrs. Carpenter issued a statement in favor of Mr. Fisher, in which she said Mr Whedon harassed her while she was pregnant and fired her after she gave birth in 2003.

Joss Whedon abused his power numerous times while working on the sets for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel together, she said in the post, hashtag #istandwithRayFisher. The post sparked new bookkeeping for longtime fans of Mr. Whedons’ work and some of the people who helped him create it.

Over the past week, many of the actors who have appeared in Buffy, including Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played Buffy Summers, expressed their solidarity with Mrs. Carpenter and distanced themselves from Mr. Whedon. Actress Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Buffys’ little sister Dawn, alleged on Instagram Thursday that Mr. Whedon was not allowed to be alone with her.

I would like to validate what the women of Buffy are saying and support them in their story, Marti Noxon, one of the longtime show producers and writers, said on Twitter. Jose Molina, a writer who worked on the Mr. Whedons Firefly show casually called him cruel.

A representative for Mr. Whedon declined to comment.

Thanks to Buffy, Mr. Whedon unleashed a universe that has inspired scholarly articles and books, countless online groups still dissecting storylines and characters more than 17 years after the last episode aired, and legions of fans who connected deeply with a teenage girl forced into an unimaginable fight. horrors.

A lot of people came out and said Buffy saved their lives, said Alyson Buckman, a professor at California State University, Sacramento, and a member of the Whedon Studies Association, who interviewed fans of the show for a book. to come up. It was incredibly meaningful to them. It taught them how to defend themselves. It taught them that they could continue.

She added: Is this all messed up by one man?

In March 1997, Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on the WB, then a fledgling cable network, and was quickly hailed as a smart and campy series about a teenage girl and her friends fighting the forces of evil.

The show was full of clever metaphors Buffy lived in a Californian town that sits on a hell of a mouth, a place where vampires and monsters converge and a devious comparison to the pains of adolescence. Writers like Ms. Noxon and Jane Espenson developed rich storylines and provided the actors with lively dialogue. this fascinated linguists. The characters struggled with bad boyfriends, their own sexuality and the death of a parent in a way that fans have found cathartic.

The show was really a lifeline for me at the time because I didn’t have a community, said Jen Malkowski, professor of film and media studies at Smith College, who identifies as queer and trans. non-binary and started watching the show in high school.

I was working with my sexuality, agreeing to go out, said Professor Malkowski, who uses them and them pronouns. Buffy was a huge source of comfort for me.

Mr. Whedons’ fame grew, and he went on to direct and write a myriad of other films and TV series, including the hugely popular Avengers and one of its sequels, Avengers: Age of Ultron. In 2013, the human rights group Equality Now paid tribute to him as a champion of storytelling who fought for gender equality.

Buffy was such a powerful show not only because it was about girl power, but also because it was about female voices, said Jodi Eichler-Levine, a professor at Lehigh University who describes herself as obsessed with spectacle in graduate school.

Hearing how the voices of women in the cast have been ignored, she said.

The latest controversy surrounding Mr Whedon is a reminder of the danger of idolization, Mr Brehmer said. But he said if he had kids he would watch Buffy with them.

Buffy is still my favorite show of all time, he says. Probably, overall, one of my favorite stories ever told.

Buffy fans know the story isn’t just about Joss Whedons, said Kristin Russo, co-host of the Buffering the Vampire Slayer podcast. She compared fan loyalty to the show to that of Harry Potter fans, who distanced themselves from JK Rowling and the transphobic comments she made, while still embracing the books.

It’s the fandom claiming it, Ms Russo said. I don’t think anyone would think Buffy Summers belongs to one person.

Professor Malkowski said the boycott of Buffy and other shows created by Mr. Whedon would also obscure the legacy of other writers, producers and actors who worked on these series.

I want to hang on to Marti Noxon, Jane Espenson and Charisma Carpenter, they said. For me, it’s more important to keep what is valuable than to undo what has been troubling.

But in case the new allegations force networks and streaming services to stop playing old episodes of Mr. Whedons’ shows, Professor Malkowski is ready:

I will never let go of my Buffy DVDs.



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