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Joss Whedon Was an Asshole on the ‘Buffy’ Set, Too

FameFlynet / Joss Whedon

I think everyone wanted Joss Whedon to be a nice guy. Maybe not literally everyone, but at one point in time the man had a fan base who felt he could do no wrong. Buffy the Vampire Slayer had a huge amount of cultural relevance, Firefly topped every list of “canceled too soon” TV shows (maybe behind Arrested Development, a great study in “be careful what you wish for”) and Avengers was one of the biggest movies of all time, and probably Marvel’s best outing to date.

After Avengers: Age of Ultron and Justice League came out and he lost the shield of being a man who could do no wrong, people started talking about what he was like as a person.

That has gone about as well for Whedon as the Buffy movie with Kristy Swanson.

Yet another account of Whedon’s assholery has come out, adding to the stories from Ray Fisher and his ex-wife. This one, given to Metro.co.uk, is from Jeff Pruitt, a stunt coordinator on Buffy, who claims Whedon became unbearable as he gained popularity and tried to force Pruitt to break up with his future wife Sophia Crawford who was Sarah Michelle Gellar’s stunt double.

The stunt coordinator said: ‘We had a great relationship, Joss and I, but he changed as the show took off.

‘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.

That makes extremely good sense. It’s a classic story of someone getting too big for their britches.

Pruitt left after season three, and Whedon invited him back but told Crawford she had to break up with him or she wouldn’t be returning as Buffy’s stunt double.

‘But I was called into the office and I was given an ultimatum. And they said to me, “Come back to the show, but you need to leave Jeff, or don’t come back.” And so I basically started crying. And I said “F you. That’s horrible, bye.”‘

Hard to tell what Joss’s reasoning here was. Could be just to punish them, could be he was mad there was a woman on the show who was having sex with someone other than him. Pruitt said Whedon tried to blacklist him in the industry, but he and Crawford were able to continue working because Pruitt also had influence, though it did cost him some work.

More interestingly, he said that the producers of the show had installed a keylogger on his computer to spy on him.

Pruitt added: ‘As it turns out Sophia told me that during her meeting one of the producers accidentally blurted out…that they had copies of every email I’d ever sent since I started the show. This was odd to me because I only emailed from my home computer. How could they?

‘Later on I was told there was a rumor that some employees of the show who ventured into The Bronze forum [Buffy online forum] to talk to the fans live after the shows had keyloggers placed in their systems.  I didn’t even know what that was back then. Afterwards I did, in fact, discover a keylogger on my computer.  During the 90s I really paid no attention to online security. I learned the hard way.’

I’m pretty sure that crosses the line past “messed up” and into out and out illegal.

I’m sure once Ray Fisher’s DC contract is over we’ll get some stories from him about how Whedon acted on Justice League, too.

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