Buffy star Anthony Head reveals shock over Joss Whedon abuse claims

‘I’m seriously gutted,’ says actor who played mentor and father figure Rupert Giles

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 11 February 2021 15:23
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Anthony Head has said he was unaware of any abuse on the set of the show, following allegations made against its creator Joss Whedon.

On Wednesday (10 February), Buffy actor Charisma Carpenter accused Whedon of “abusing his power” on the set and firing her from spin-off series Angel after she had just given birth.

Several of Carpenter’s co-stars, including Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy) and Amber Benson (Tara Maclay), have since offered their support, and Benson alleged that the show was filmed amid “a toxic environment” that “started at the top”. Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Buffy’s little sister Dawn, also condemned Whedon’s “not appropriate behaviour” while they worked together.

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According to Variety, Whedon has so far declined to comment on the allegations. The Independent has contacted his representative.

In an interview on ITV’s This Morning, Head – who played Buffy’s mentor Rupert Giles in the series – said: “I have been up most of the night just running through my memories thinking, ‘What did I miss?’

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“This is not a man saying, ‘I didn’t see it so it didn’t happen.’ I am gutted, I’m seriously gutted because one of my memories, my fondest memory was the fact that it was so empowering. Not just with the words in the script, but the family feel of the show. I am really sad that people went through these experiences.”

Head added: “I was a sort of father figure. I would hope that someone would come to me and say, ‘I’m struggling, I just had a horrible conversation.’”

“How on earth did I not know this was going on?” he said.

In 2017, Head wrote an op-ed for The Guardian about his fondness for Whedon's work on Buffy, stating: "It’s undoubtedly a feminist story, about the empowerment of women, but Whedon managed to tell that story in a way that was inclusive."