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Buffy had an “extremely toxic male set”, says Sarah Michelle Gellar

Buffy the Vampire Slayer may be a beloved TV series, but the atmosphere behind the scenes was far from positive according to the star of the show

Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

There’s no doubt that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of the most popular ‘90s TV shows around, and its fanbase is still going strong to this day. But, the experience of making the fantasy series was incredibly problematic, as the star of the show Sarah Michelle Gellar has reiterated recently.

Joss Whedon, who is well-known for his work on superhero movies in both the MCU and DCEU, was the creator of the Buffy TV series. The filmmaker has been called out for his behaviour on set and treatment of cast and crew several times now, and this time Buffy’s titular star has spoken out about the atmosphere on the production.

In an appearance at the Power of Storytelling: Producers Roundtable at the The Wrap’s Power of Women Summit in Los Angeles, Gellar opened up on what she described as an “extremely toxic” environment.

“For so long, I was on a set that I think was known for being an extremely toxic male set, and so that was ingrained in my head that that was what all sets were like, and that women were pitted against each other — that if women became friends, then we became too powerful, so you had to keep that down,” she said.

“And now that I’ve had this opportunity to work with so many more women and men that support women as well, I realized how easy an experience it can be, but … unfortunately we’re still in that place where all of those departments a lot of times need to be women for us to have a voice,” Gellar added.

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Former Buffy star Charisma Carpenter shared her own accusations against Whedon in February 2022 in a lengthy Twitter post, claiming he had exhibited “hostile and toxic” behaviour during production. Whedon was also part of an investigation by Warner Bros for his treatment of various Justice League cast members, but he denied the claims of malpractice when speaking to New York magazine.

If you like Buffy, you should check out our list of the best vampire movies, or dive into our list of the best horror series.