Sarah Michelle Gellar says ‘victim blame’ kept her from speaking out about ‘tough’ experiences with child stars

Sarah Michelle Gellar has admitted fears of “victim blaming and shaming” kept her from speaking out about her negative experiences as a “teenage girl” in show business.

That Cruel intentions Star made her screen debut at age six and was 19 when she was cast in the career-defining role of Buffy Summers, a high school student with supernatural powers Buffy the vampire slayer.

In a new interview with The New York TimesGellar denied that she had positive experiences in the industry as a young woman.

“It was really tough,” said the actor. “When I came up, there weren’t any great female roles. It was the girlfriend role, the wife role.

“That’s why Buffy was so spectacular, because she really had something to do, and then we had it i know what you did [Last Summer] where it was the women who found things out. It was all a new twist.”

Gellar continued, “That was on the script page. And then there’s the other side of being a young girl in business. Growing up in New York I had some street sense, which helps. But no, it wasn’t easy.

“I’ve had my fair share of experiences, I just chose not to – I don’t win by emotionally telling my stories for myself. I look at people telling their stories and I’m so impressed. But in this world where people are being torn apart and victims are being blamed and shamed, I just keep my stories here.”

While Gellar himself has never discussed any experiences on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, other members of the cast have spoken out about the working conditions on the set.

In 2021, Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase, made an appearance Buffy and the split Angel, tweeted about the environment showrunner Joss Whedon allegedly created for the supernatural teen drama. These included claims that Whedon called her fat when she was four months pregnant, which he has denied.

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“Joss has been occasionally cruel in the past,” she wrote. “Since his early career he has created hostile and toxic work environments. I know because I’ve experienced it firsthand.”

Backing Carpenter’s opinion in her own statement at the time, Gellar wrote on Instagram, “While I’m proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be associated with the name Joss Whedon forever.

“I am currently more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic, so I will not comment further at this time. But I stand by and proud of all abuse survivors for speaking out.”

Whedon later responded to Carpenter’s comments by saying, “Most of my experiences with Charisma have been delightful and charming. She struggled with her lines at times, but nobody could nail a punchline harder than she. I didn’t call her fat.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/sarah-michelle-gellar-buffy-joss-whedon-b2169158.html Sarah Michelle Gellar says ‘victim blame’ kept her from speaking out about ‘tough’ experiences with child stars


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