Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Anthony Head said he was “gutted” to learn of the recent abuse allegations made against the show’s creator, Joss Whedon.
The actor, who played Rupert Giles on the hit show, responded to the accusations Joss Whedon made Buffy a “toxic” environment in an interview for on This Morning on Thursday (11 February).
Speaking to hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, Head admitted that he wasn’t aware of Joss Whedon’s alleged behaviour, which was raised by actor Charisma Carpenter on Wednesday and echoed by several female co-stars.
“I have been up most of the night just running through my memories thinking, ‘What did I miss?'” he said. “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 [Buffy] was so empowering. Not just with the words in the script, but the family feel of the show.”
Head, who is known for quietly going above and beyond in supporting his transgender fans, admitted he feels he “let down” his castmates by not being aware of the situation around him.
“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,'” he said in a discussion about the Joss Whedon allegations.
“Charisma’s post, the first post was about [spin-off show] Angel and I was long gone, but there are other posts that make me think how on earth did I not know this is going on?
“There are ups and downs, highs and lows on shows. People have tempers, everyone has a temper. I’ve heard people shout at the crew. We’ve all heard directors shouting and lead actors shouting at one of his crew for not wearing a mask. What I’m saying is there are highs and lows.”
However, the allegations made by Carpenter against Whedon appear to go far beyond the regular “highs and lows” of the entertainment industry.
The actor, who played Cordelia Chase in Buffy and its spin-off Angel, described a litany of occasions where Joss Whedon allegedly “abused his power” with his “mean and biting” behaviour, stoking her performance anxiety while disempowering and “alienating” her from her peers.
Several Buffy fans praised Head on social media for his honest response to the Whedon controversy. “So glad Anthony Head answered a question on This Morning about the toxicity on the Buffy set, and his distress about not knowing about it was evident,” commented one.
“Hope other cast members join him and come forward to support the amazing, strong female cast who have bravely spoken up.”