The ex-wife of “Avengers” director and Justice League co-director Joss Whedon unloaded on him in a devastating guest post on The Wrap—accusing Whedon, among other things, of being “a hypocrite preaching feminist ideals,” using her as “a shield” so others wouldn’t question him being a feminist, and having multiple affairs during their 15-year marriage.
Architect Kai Cole met Joss in 1991 and claims to have encouraged him to turn his “Buffy The Vampire” project, which disappointed him as a movie, into a television show. But once they got married and the hit “Buffy” television show began, things began to take a darker turn.
Cole claims Whedon, after their marriage was over, wrote the following to her:
“When I was running ‘Buffy,’ I was surrounded by beautiful, needy, aggressive young women. It felt like I had a disease, like something from a Greek myth. Suddenly I am a powerful producer and the world is laid out at my feet and I can’t touch it…I would have to lie — or conceal some part of the truth — for the rest of my life…”
After admitting to the affairs, he noted to her:
“In many ways I was the HEIGHT of normal, in this culture. We’re taught to be providers and companions and at the same time, to conquer and acquire — specifically sexually — and I was pulling off both!”
Whedon has maintained a reputation for being a male feminist ally through his work and his support of various women and women’s causes online. For example, in 2014 he had this to say about Gamergate:
“I have this goldfish, idiot, forgetful thing in that every time I’m confronted with true misogyny, I’m stunned. I’m like, Really? That’s like, I don’t believe in airplanes. It’s like, What century are you from? I don’t get it. So usually I’m shocked, then occasionally amused, then occasionally extremely not amused, but once I get over the shock, it’s very clear that misogyny in our own culture — and not just where they perform genital mutilation and marry off 10-year-olds — runs so deep.”
But he is also no stranger to controversy, such as when pregnant “Buffy” alum Charisma Carpenter left Whedon’s other TV series Angel on seemingly less-than-great terms, resulting in a massive rewrite of her Cordelia Chase character that angered some fans.
Now Kai’s post adds another layer to this and other rumors in which the acclaimed director has been accused of being less than a staunch feminist. She also claims that the resulting stress over their tumultuous marriage ruined her health physically and emotionally:
“My entire reality changed overnight, and I went from being a strong, confident woman, to a confused, frightened mess. I was eventually diagnosed with Complex PTSD and for the last five years, I have worked hard to make sense of everything that happened and find my balance again. It has not been easy, because even though in my personal life I have been completely open about what happened, publicly people only know his superficial presentation of us: him as the lovable geek-feminist and me in the background, as his wife and supporter.”
Considering that after helping out for Zack Synder on Justice League, Whedon’s next project is supposed to be a movie based on “geek girl” icon Batgirl…there literally could be no worse time for this news to break.
As for Whedon’s side of the story, his reps told The Wrap:
“While this account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations which can be harmful to their family, Joss is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife.”