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Buffy’s Charisma Carpenter apologises to co-star Eliza Dushku for not ‘lending her voice’ during sexual misconduct fight

Josh Milton February 17, 2021
Headshots of Charisma Carpenter and Eliza Dushku both smiling to the camera

Charisma Carpenter (L) and Eliza Dushku. (Getty Images)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer actor Charisma Carpenter has apologised to co-star Eliza Dushku for not “lending her voice” when she came out with her own experiences of workplace misconduct.

Carpenter has received a wave of support from Buffy and Angel cast members since first accusing writer-director Joss Whedon of “abusing his power” on set.

Dushku, who played surprise second slayer Faith, threw her weight towards Carpenter in an Instagram post – and act of solidarity Carpenter said she regrets not mirroring when Dushku spoke about her own experience of harassment on the set of CBS show Bull.

Commenting on Dushku’s post, Carpenter said: “I owe you an apology. I never lent my voice to you privately nor publicly when you shared your truth after suffering sexual misconduct in the workplace.

“As I wrote to you privately, this makes your statement of support sweeter. And as I said to J, your loving embrace empowers others to feel safe to share their stories.

She added: “Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for your inspiring words of support. I will never forget how you have made me feel.”

Dushku appeared in three episodes of Bull in 2017, in what was intended to become a permanent role.

But during her time on set, she said, lead star Michael Weatherly commented on her appearance in front of staff and even joked about rape and threesomes, Variety reported.

Eliza Dushku and Michael Weatherly on Bul
Eliza Dushku (R) and Michael Weatherly on Bull. (Dave Russell/CBS)

Shortly after she confronted him, Dushku found herself written off the show entirely. In speaking out, she claimed, she lost her job.

Dushku sought mediation with CBS and the company agreed to pay her $9.5 million – roughly what she would have earned if she stayed on as a cast member for four seasons.

Weatherly apologised publicly, claiming he had done so in person at the time after making “jokes mocking some lines in the script”.

“After reflecting on this further, I better understand that what I said was both not funny and not appropriate and I am sorry and regret the pain this caused Eliza,” he added, maintaining he did not push for Dushku to be dropped.

When Carpenter came forward with accusations against Whedon – that he was “callously cruel” towards her and “unceremoniously fired” her after the birth of her child – Dushku was quick to support her.

“CC my heart aches for you and I’m so sorry you have held this for so long,” Dushku wrote. “Your post was powerful, painful and painted a picture we’ll collectively never un-see or un-know.”

She continued: “Neglecting to ‘name’ the power/gender/sexual/racial abuse epidemic in the entertainment industry (and for that matter society in general) enables the abusers and only emboldens and ultimately fortifies abusive systems.

“May you and countless others feel the solidarity and connection you have likely missed for too long. From courage, come change and hope. It starts and will end because of courageous truth-tellers like you.”

Whedon has not commented publicly on the allegations against him and has not responded to requests for comment.

More: buffy the vampire slayer, Charisma Carpenter, eliza dushku, Joss Whedon, Michael Weatherly

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