Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

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Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by WyldeMan on 8/21/2017, 12:08 pm

I’ve been asked some questions by the press recently about my divorce from Joss Whedon, to whom I was married for 16 years. There is misinformation out there and I feel the best way to clear up the situation is to tell my truth. Let me begin by saying I am a very private person and the act of writing this is antithetical to who I am and everything I stand for. Yet, at the same time, I feel compelled to go on the record and clear up some misperceptions. I don’t think it is fair to me or other women to remain silent any longer.

I met Joss in 1991. I was driving across the country from Massachusetts on a whim, and met him when I was passing through Los Angeles. We fell in love and I moved to L.A. so we could be together.

I was with him when his “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” script was adapted, and the resulting movie released. It was painful to see how his vision was interpreted by the production team and on our honeymoon to England in 1995, I urged him to figure out how to turn it into a TV show. He didn’t want to work in television anymore, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, but I convinced him it was the fastest way to get the experience he needed, so he could direct his own films someday. I had no idea, in that lovely garden in Bath, that it would change everything.

There were times in our relationship that I was uncomfortable with the attention Joss paid other women. He always had a lot of female friends, but he told me it was because his mother raised him as a feminist, so he just liked women better. He said he admired and respected females, he didn’t lust after them. I believed him and trusted him. On the set of “Buffy,” Joss decided to have his first secret affair.

Fifteen years later, when he was done with our marriage and finally ready to tell the truth, he wrote me, “When I was running ‘Buffy,’ I was surrounded by beautiful, needy, aggressive young women. It felt like I had a disease, like something from a Greek myth. Suddenly I am a powerful producer and the world is laid out at my feet and I can’t touch it.” But he did touch it. He said he understood, “I would have to lie — or conceal some part of the truth — for the rest of my life,” but he did it anyway, hoping that first affair, “would be ENOUGH, that THEN we could move on and outlast it.”


Joss admitted that for the next decade and a half, he hid multiple affairs and a number of inappropriate emotional ones that he had with his actresses, co-workers, fans and friends, while he stayed married to me. He wrote me a letter when our marriage was falling apart, but I still didn’t know the whole truth, and said, “I’ve never loved anyone or wanted to be with anyone in any real or long-term way except for you ever. And I love our life. I love how you are, how we are, who you are and what we’ve done both separately and together, how much fun we have…” He wanted it all; he didn’t want to choose, so he accepted the duality as a part of his life.

Then later, after he confessed everything, he told me, “I let myself love you. I stopped worrying about the contradiction. As a guilty man I knew the only way to hide was to act as though I were righteous. And as a husband, I wanted to be with you like we had been. I lived two lives.” When he walked out of our marriage, and was trying to make “things seem less bewildering” to help me understand how he could have lied to me for so long, he said, “In many ways I was the HEIGHT of normal, in this culture. We’re taught to be providers and companions and at the same time, to conquer and acquire — specifically sexually — and I was pulling off both!”

Despite understanding, on some level, that what he was doing was wrong, he never conceded the hypocrisy of being out in the world preaching feminist ideals, while at the same time, taking away my right to make choices for my life and my body based on the truth. He deceived me for 15 years, so he could have everything he wanted. I believed, everyone believed, that he was one of the good guys, committed to fighting for women’s rights, committed to our marriage, and to the women he worked with. But I now see how he used his relationship with me as a shield, both during and after our marriage, so no one would question his relationships with other women or scrutinize his writing as anything other than feminist.

I thought we were a couple, a team. I was a powerful influence on the career choices Joss made during the 20 years we were together (we lived together for four years before marrying). I kept him grounded, and helped him find the quickest way to the success he so deeply craved. I loved him. And in return, he lied to me. A lot. He said, after he left, he understood: “It’s not just like I killed you, but that I’d done it subtly, over years. That I’d been poisoning you. Chipping away at you.” He made me doubt my own instincts and watched me move further away from my personal values and social mores, trying to connect with him, never telling me it was impossible. By the time he finally confessed the truth, 15 years after his first affair on the set of “Buffy,” I was broken. My brain could not fit my experience of our life together, through the new lens of his deceit.

My entire reality changed overnight, and I went from being a strong, confident woman, to a confused, frightened mess. I was eventually diagnosed with Complex PTSD and for the last five years, I have worked hard to make sense of everything that happened and find my balance again. It has not been easy, because even though in my personal life I have been completely open about what happened, publicly people only know his superficial presentation of us: him as the lovable geek-feminist and me in the background, as his wife and supporter.

We’re finally divorced; I’m doing architecture again, and slowly getting my life and self-esteem back.

Until recently, Joss was still letting the illusion of our marriage stay intact. Now that it is finally public, I want to let women know that he is not who he pretends to be. I want the people who worship him to know he is human, and the organizations giving him awards for his feminist work, to think twice in the future about honoring a man who does not practice what he preaches. But no matter what happens, or how people interpret this statement, I no longer have to carry the burden of Joss’ long-term deceit and confessions. I am free.
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by Tyger on 8/21/2017, 1:59 pm

Not surprised.
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by WyldeMan on 8/21/2017, 5:12 pm

@Tyger wrote:Not surprised.

Joss sleeping with his actresses really explains why some of them lasted as long as they did on Buffy and his other shows....
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by UltimateMarvel on 8/21/2017, 9:08 pm

DAAAAAAAAAAAMN! Can we believe her though? This is coming from his ex-wife. She could be after money that she couldn't get through her lawyer or maybe she wanted to hurt him badly. Truth or false, saying something like this paints a bad picture of him for sure.
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by WyldeMan on 8/22/2017, 6:23 am

@UltimateMarvel wrote:DAAAAAAAAAAAMN! Can we believe her though? This is coming from his ex-wife. She could be after money that she couldn't get through her lawyer or maybe she wanted to hurt him badly. Truth or false, saying something like this paints a bad picture of him for sure.

I not only believe her I don't doubt anything she wrote, it's not surprisingly in the least. He's spent his career calling himself a male feminist, that is guy code for secret sleaze and this feels like a very familiar story. He seems a lot like Michael Bay to me like when Bay had Megan Fox wash his Ferrari in a bikini at his house for her Transformers audition while he filmed it for his private collection. I bet there is is an instance like this in Whedon's past.

The Whedonverse fan site which has been the authority on Whedon's career for over 15 years immediately shut down following this story too.

A couple months back big pieces of Whedon's 2006 Wonder Woman screenplay was leaked online and it was shredded for being "Mind blowingly sexist".

I also seem to recall he treated Charisma Carpenter like utter shit in the Angel days before killing her off for getting pregnant.

I feel like this was all inevitable since the truth never stays buried.
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by Rusty on 8/22/2017, 8:13 am

But ... despite the direction his ex is trying to sway the narrative, why does cheating on his wife make him not a feminist?

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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by WyldeMan on 8/22/2017, 9:21 am

@Rusty wrote:But ... despite the direction his ex is trying to sway the narrative, why does cheating on his wife make him not a feminist?

What about Joss Whedon actually makes you think he's a feminist? He clearly enjoys female characters stripped of their control only to be abused again and again for someone else's pleasures; River Tam, Dollhouse, Cordy, Black Widow. Seems like controllable female slaves are kind of his bag but he's totally a feminist. Razz
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by ForeverBlu on 8/22/2017, 12:15 pm

Josh showed his ain't shitness with how he did Charisma during the original run of Angel.

When she got pregnant, which tossed a monkey wrench into the original s/l he had planned for her.

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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by WyldeMan on 8/22/2017, 1:47 pm

@ForeverBlu wrote:Josh showed his ain't shitness with how he did Charisma during the original run of Angel.

When she got pregnant, which tossed a monkey wrench into the original s/l he had planned for her.

Yup she got coma'd and killed off without warning.

Pretty sure I also remember a "confused" Spike try to convince Buffy to love him again through attempted rape.

Not to forget the actual rapes on Dollhouse.
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by WyldeMan on 8/22/2017, 5:56 pm

‘Buffy’ Stars Silent on Joss Whedon Accusations From Ex-Wife


The women of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” are staying mum after a bombshell account by show creator Joss Whedon’s ex-wife, Kai Cole, in which she said Whedon described a set full of “beautiful, needy, aggressive young women” and admitted several affairs during their 16-year marriage.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played the title role in a star-making performance over seven seasons, declined to comment on Cole’s characterization.

“Sarah doesn’t comment on other people’s personal lives,” a spokeswoman said of the essay, which TheWrap published on Sunday.

“When I was running ‘Buffy,’ I was surrounded by beautiful, needy, aggressive young women. It felt like I had a disease, like something from a Greek myth. Suddenly I am a powerful producer and the world is laid out at my feet and I can’t touch it,” Cole wrote, saying she was  quoting correspondence from her husband.

“But he did touch it,” she added.

“Buffy” originated on The WB in 1997 and ran until 2003. It was a decent ratings performer and cultish hit with teens, one that later got a second life on streaming platforms like Netflix.

Eliza Dushku, who played bad-girl fan favorite Faith on “Buffy” and led Whedon’s Fox action series “Dollhouse” in 2009, declined to comment on through a rep.

Reps for Alyson Hannigan (another big fan favorite, who played the bookish Willow on “Buffy”), Charisma Carpenter (a “Buffy” alum who went to spinoff “Angel”) and series regulars Emma Caulfield, Amber Benson and Michelle Trachtenberg did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

TheWrap also reached out to Marti Noxon, a major part of “Buffy,” who rose from the writers room to co-producer, supervising producer and finally executive producer. Her rep did not immediately respond.

Noxon went on to major success, with hits like Bravo’s “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce” and Lifetime’s “Unreal.” She has now set her sights on feature films like this year’s Netflix original “To the Bone.”

Cole said she wanted to underscore the hypocrisy of Whedon being hailed as a model feminist.

“He said he admired and respected females, he didn’t lust after them. I believed him and trusted him. On the set of “Buffy,” Joss decided to have his first secret affair,” she said.

A representative for Whedon had no comment. On Sunday, in regards to Cole’s open letter, the rep said the following:

“While this account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations which can be harmful to their family, Joss is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife.”
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by WyldeMan on 8/22/2017, 5:57 pm

All of his leading actresses declined to comment? That's not the least bit telling.....
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by ForeverBlu on 8/22/2017, 7:59 pm

@WyldeMan wrote:All of his leading actresses declined to comment? That's not the least bit telling.....


Their silence is deafening.

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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by ForeverBlu on 8/23/2017, 6:29 am

Many folks have been speculating which actresses Whedon slept with.

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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by WyldeMan on 8/23/2017, 6:40 am

@ForeverBlu wrote:Many folks have  been speculating which actresses Whedon slept with.

Which names?
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by Tyger on 8/23/2017, 9:07 am

I don't think it's gonna be any of the main ones, but who knows
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by WyldeMan on 8/23/2017, 10:00 am

@Tyger wrote:I don't think it's gonna be any of the main ones, but who knows

He certainly wasn't lacking in attractive young naive talent to prey on and given that not a single one is defending him, I can't help but feel like this wasn't a secret to any of them.
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by ForeverBlu on 8/23/2017, 10:45 am

@WyldeMan wrote:
@ForeverBlu wrote:Many folks have  been speculating which actresses Whedon slept with.

Which names?


The ones repeatedly mentioned...


Amy Acker

Emma Caufield

Eliza Dushku

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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by WyldeMan on 8/23/2017, 12:13 pm

@ForeverBlu wrote:
@WyldeMan wrote:
@ForeverBlu wrote:Many folks have  been speculating which actresses Whedon slept with.

Which names?

The ones repeatedly mentioned...

Amy Acker

Emma Caufield

Eliza Dushku

He's worked with Acker on just about every project.
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by Rusty on 8/23/2017, 4:20 pm

I'd buy Dushku doing the deed. She's a fucking terrible actress.
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by WyldeMan on 8/23/2017, 8:01 pm

@Rusty wrote:I'd buy Dushku doing the deed. She's a fucking terrible actress.

Ah man, that's not nice. LOL.
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by Rusty on 8/23/2017, 11:27 pm

@WyldeMan wrote:
@Rusty wrote:I'd buy Dushku doing the deed. She's a fucking terrible actress.

Ah man, that's not nice. LOL.

Haha. I actually really like her, but she can't act. Her effort in the original Bring It On is forever seared into my brain.

No hate though. If I was in Joss Whedon's shoes I would have done the same thing. Especially Amy Acker.
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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by WyldeMan on 8/24/2017, 5:35 am

@Rusty wrote:Haha. I actually really like her, but she can't act. Her effort in the original Bring It On is forever seared into my brain.

No hate though. If I was in Joss Whedon's shoes I would have done the same thing. Especially Amy Acker.

Come on as bad as Eliza was in Bring it On at least she wasn't Jesse Bradford bad.

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Re: Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog)

Post by ForeverBlu on 8/24/2017, 6:25 am

I liked Eliza in Wrong Turn and Tru Calling.

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