Joss Whedon is likely as respected a writer as there is in Hollywood.
But there’s one woman who does not think highly of the producer and director; one woman who thinks his entire reputation is built on lies and deception:
Kai Cole, an architect and producer, has written a very personal and pointed essay for The Wrap, one in which she accuses Whedon of engaging in a multitude of affairs over the course of their 16-year marriage.
Moreover, she says the Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator tried to use his feminist credentials as a way to shield himself from criticism.
After explaining how the pair met in 1991 and how she encouraged him to make the TV show that made him famous, Cole wrote:
“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.”
It wasn’t until the couple’s marriage was over that Cole says Whedon came clean, confessing having lied “two lives.”
“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.”
It wasn’t just the act of her husband allegedly sleeping with other women that grates at Cole, however.
It’s that Whedon is considered one of the most progressive and feminist figures in entertainment.
“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,” she says, adding in detail:
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.
In a scathing conclusion, Cole says of Whedon:
“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.”
In a statement to The Wrap, a spokesperson for Whedon replies as follows:
“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.”