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Sarah Michelle Gellar Hints That the Buffy Set Was a Place Where ‘Women Were Pitted Against Each Other’

Sarah Michelle Gellar isn’t naming names or TV shows, but we are pretty sure she’s talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer here. At TheWrap‘s Power of Women Summit this week, the 45-year-old actress discussed why it’s important for her to work on a set that empowers women at this stage of her career. 

“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 explained. If we read between the lines about her experience, it sure sounds like former shwowrunner and creator of Buffy, Joss Whedon. She worked on that show from 1997 through 2003, and he’s been called out about his alleged abusive bad behavior by other actors, including Buffy and Angel star Charisma Carpenter. 

The only clue Gellar has really given fans about disliking her time with Whedon was in a February 2021 Instagram post that said, “While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon. But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out.”

Gellar believes she learned some valuable lessons from those early days in her career — whether she’s referring to the Buffy set or not. “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,” she noted at The Wrap’s Power of Women Summit. “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.” She’s hoping to be a part of the change and lead the charge — Buffy Summers would definitely approve this message.

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