Home Online Magazine Joss Whedon hits back at Ray Fisher’s Justice League accusations

Joss Whedon hits back at Ray Fisher’s Justice League accusations


After being called out by a number of former cast members for misconduct on various sets, filmmaker Joss Whedon has resurfaced in a new interview to respond and clarify the accusations. Specifically, he denies claims by actors Ray Fisher and Gal Gadot, made in multiple social posts in 2020 and 2021, about Whedon’s misogynistic and racist actions on the set of Justice League . Anonymous associates say the film’s former director Zack Snyder may be at the heart of Whedon’s troubles, and Snyder fans have become exasperated by tribalism.

“The early internet lifted me up, and the modern internet pulled me down,” Whedon says in the story. “Perfect symmetry does not escape me.”

The cover of the latest issue of New York magazine describes Whedon’s journey from childhood in a “palazzo-style apartment” on the Upper West Side, to British and Wesleyan boarding schools, to writing the original buffy script, taking Web 1.0 by storm buffyThe cast and crew’s are embedded in message boards. But the substance of the article deals with the wide variety of abuse allegations now leveled against Whedon.

These allegations cover just about every TV show Whedon has been involved in – Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, and Agents of SHIELD, which Joss co-created with his stepbrother and his stepbrother’s wife. In some cases, Whedon allegedly abused power dynamics to start dating women on these shows. In others, he humiliated female writers and got physical by grabbing a number of women by the arms. An anonymous writer on Firefly recalls in New York history a time when Whedon called a staff meeting for an impromptu conference to poke fun at an employee’s script. “I’ve had my share of shitty showrunners, but intent to hurt – that’s what sets me apart now.” Whedon admits wrongful behavior, mostly attributed to being a youth in a position of power, and denies others.

Interestingly, anonymous members of Whedon’s inner circle have an origin story for where these allegations begin: the set of Justice League.

The Justice League cast at Comic-Con 2017. Fisher, leftmost, wears a shirt that’s supposed to read “I Heart Zack Sndyer.”
Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Perhaps no movie of the 2010s was as tormented as Justice League, a film called into question insofar as a new montage was released last year. Common history has it that Whedon was chosen to direct after the tragic death of Zack Snyder’s daughter by suicide, although Whedon opposes the account. According to the filmmaker, Warner Bros. hired him to take over when an early showing caused executives to lose faith in Snyder’s cut. “They asked me to fix it, and I thought I could help,” Whedon says. The profile describes his gun gig as “one of the biggest regrets of his life.”

Where did things go wrong, according to Whedon? All over. Warner asked him to deliver 40 Days of Reshoots, and it became clear to him that Snyder was directing sets very differently. Snyder encouraged his actors to improvise through their scenes and asked for their input. Whedon, who had made a name for himself as a writer, wanted them to read his words exactly as he wrote them.

“It didn’t go well at all,” recalled an unnamed crew member.

This fundamental difference in approach seems to have colored Whedon’s every interaction with the actors of Justice League. For Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg — notably, the first black superhero in a DC movie — the differences got personal. Snyder had enlisted Fisher’s help in creating Cyborg, as New York Magazine writer Lila Shapiro describes Fisher as a “writing partner” of Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio.

“With a white writer and a white director, we both felt that the perspective of an actor of color was really important,” Terrio said. The Hollywood Reporter in 2021.

Much of Fisher’s perspective was a tragic backstory for Cyborg involving his parents, “two genius black people,” Fisher told The Hollywood Reporter. According to the actor, when Whedon took the director’s chair, those scenes were cut. On a conference call, Fisher says he mourned the loss but was ready to move on, but Whedon reportedly cut him off. “I feel like I’m taking notes right now,” Fisher claims, Whedon said, “and I don’t like taking notes from anyone, not even Robert Downey Jr.”

Fisher isn’t the only actor to have spoken out about Whedon’s treatment on set, with Gal Gadot also accusing the director of threatening his career. But Fisher’s numerous accusations, which include being forced to recite slogans and use color correction to alter his skin tone, clearly stayed with Whedon.

Whedon says the color correction Fisher suggests he used to lighten his skin color was applied to the entire film, where everything was made brighter in post-production. Cyborg’s cut script “logically didn’t make sense,” Whedon says now, and Fisher’s character was terribly tested on audiences. The two talked a lot about the characters, actually, and were friendly. In Whedon’s world, the problem lies with Fisher’s feature in the film. “We’re talking about a malevolent force,” he says in New York. “We’re talking about a bad actor both ways.”

The New York Magazine article cites a number of unnamed Whedon allies, who “proposed a theory: What if Fisher had done Snyder’s auction? Without providing evidence, they speculated that Snyder had tricked Fisher into believing that Whedon was a racist. According to this theory, which Whedon refuses to endorse or denounce, Snyder’s manipulation of Fisher “poisoned [Charisma Carpenter of Buffy] against Whedon, making him see the complicated history of their relationship as a simplistic tale of abuse.

There is no evidence of a conspiracy between Snyder and Fisher, nor any evidence that Charisma Carpenter doesn’t understand her own relationship with Whedon. Whedon sticks to his own legacy at the end of the story. “I think I’m one of the nicest showrunners that’s ever been,” he says.

Fisher, who reportedly turned down multiple requests from New York Magazine to speak for the story, responded to the profile with a Tweeter saying he “looks like Joss Whedon to lead an endgame after all…”, while refusing to address “all the lies and antics”, preferring instead to celebrate the work of Martin Luther King on his birthday. birthday.