Avengers director Joss Whedon took over as the director of the original version of Justice League when Zack Snyder had to unexpectedly leave the project. Until recently most just assumed his vision wasn’t the right one for the movie, resulting in a subpar product. But now it seems there may have been even more to it. Actor Ray Fisher (who played Cyborg) has been lobbying accusations of bad behavior or Joss Whedon. And now Fisher says an investigation has been launched.
Writing on Twitter Ray Fisher says…
“After 5 weeks of interviews with various cast/crew, Warner Bros. has officially launched an independent third-party investigation to get to the heart of the toxic and abusive work environment created during Justice League reshoots. This is a MASSIVE step forward! I believe this investigation will show that Geoff Johns, Joss Whedon, Jon Berg (and others) grossly abused their power during the uncertainty of AT&T’s merger with Time Warner. Thank you Warner Media and AT&T for making strides to ensure a safer workplace for all!)“– -Ray Fisher
Ray Fisher previously took to Twitter to say that in the past he was threatened for trying to say something about what was being done to him:
It started when Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in Justice League, tweeted this about his experience on that set…
It’s a pretty big accusation against Whedon who, for the most part, has a good reputation in the entertainment industry. It’s also extremely non-specific, making it nearly impossible to tell what exactly it is that Whedon really did.
Fisher eventually followed up that tweet with another one in which he vows not to let up on Joss Whedon, but again doesn’t really say what he’s not letting up on him for. What did Joss Whedon do again? Here’s what Fisher says…
Ray Fisher’s tweets are potentially a violation of the non-disclosure agreement he signed with Warner Bros. when he joined the cast of Justice League. So if you’re wondering why he hasn’t said more, that’s probably it.
Even what he did say has started a firestorm and may in fact get him kicked off future Warner Bros. projects. Word is that he’s going to be written out of an appearance in the upcoming Flash movie because of the trouble he’s started. The studio wants to distance themselves from any and all controversy. Given modern cultural norms, even the slightest misstep can spell doom for any Hollywood production and they want nothing to do with the mess Ray Fisher has created.
James Marsters Says Whedon Backed Him Against A Wall
James Marsters played the fan favorite vampire character Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Originally intended as a villain, fans loved the character so much he eventually became a tragic hero. And apparently, Joss Whedon wasn’t happy about it.
Talking to the podcast Inside of You Marsters relayed this interaction he had with Joss Whedon while shooting the show…
“I came along and I wasn’t designed to be a romantic character, but then the audience reacted that way to it. And I remember he backed me up against a wall one day and he was just like, ‘I don’t care how popular you are, kid, you’re dead. You hear me? Dead. Dead!’ And I was just like, ‘Uh, you know, it’s your football, man. Okay’.”– -James Marsters
The context of the quote doesn’t suggest that Marsters is intentionally piling on Whedon with everyone else attacking him, but it’s already being used as fodder by the group of angry people trying to cancel Joss.
Stunt People Call Joss Whedon An Egomaniac
Jeff Pruitt worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s stunt team during the show’s first four seasons. He has now joined the growing chorus of people attacking director Joss Whedon.
Talking to Metro Pruitt says, “He went from the humble writer who used to turn to me for ways to shoot fight scenes into a real egomaniac who believed his own hype. Then again, maybe he was always that way and I was simply too naive to see it as he never showed that side to me before. We’d always supported each other…“
Jeff Pruitt’s wife Sophia Crawford also worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Sarah Michelle Gellar’s stunt double. She backs up Pruitt’s claims saying, “I really loved Buffy, but honestly Joss and Jeff had a bit of a falling out. And I’m sure it should have been resolved, could have been resolved, if they’d have just talked it over.“
Pruitt goes a step further and claims that when he and his wife left the show Joss Whedon told them “no one will ever hire” them again after that. Jeff doesn’t have proof that Joss Whedon actually did try to blackball him, but he does claim that afterward he’d be offered a job only to have it “suddenly vanish”.
It hasn’t stopped the duo from working though. They’ve continued to do stunt work on numerous Hollywood television shows and movies.
Kevin Smith Backing Up Ray Fisher’s Claims
Director, actor and superhero fanboy Kevin Smith recently spoke out to back up Ray Fisher’s claims on one of his podcasts. In it, Smith claims to have had a conversation with one of the special effects artists on Justice League who told him Joss Whedon would, “cut down, dismiss and be negative about Zack’s version which he had seen and all of the special effects team [these people] had made together.”
Here’s the full podcast where Smith talks about the accusations against Joss Whedon…
Disliking the previous work of another director sounds a lot different than “gross, abusive” or “unprofessional”. Maybe what Smith is true but even if it is, I’m not sure that justifies Ray Fisher’s vague and far more extreme comments. In the eyes of many fans, Fisher seemed to be hinting at something a lot more terrible than this.
In Defense Of Joss Whedon
Actor Alan Tudyk worked with Joss Whedon on the show Firefly and the movie Serenity and he had this to say about the accusations on Twitter: “Wasn’t there, but I have known Joss for 17 years, I honestly can’t even imagine it and I have a pretty good imagination.”
Tudyk’s attempted defense of Whedon has now put him in the crosshairs along with Joss. He’s getting angry replies such as “You’re white” and “Believe minorities when they come forward or you’re complicit in perpetuating their abuses.”
Joss Whedon has declined to comment on the tweet. Producer Jon Berg worked on Justice League with Joss Whedon and he’s also named in Ray Fisher’s complaint. Here’s what he says to the trades about why he thinks Fisher is upset: “I remember [Fisher] being upset that we wanted him to say ‘Booyaa,’ which is a well-known saying of Cyborg in the animated series.” However Berg adds that it is, “categorically untrue that we enabled any unprofessional behavior.”
If what Jon Berg says is the reason for Fisher’s accusations, that seems a pretty thin reason to trash Joss Whedon on Twitter. So far though, Fisher has offered no clarification and no one else has commented.
Whatever the problem was, Zack Snyder’s Justice League will now set out to right those wrongs.