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Leave it to Breitbart to completely miss the moral of Joss Whedon’s fall from grace

At this point, the biggest threat to Joss Whedon’s career is his own big mouth

You don’t have to read Lila Shapiro’s 9000-word New York magazine profile of fallen Buffy creator Joss Whedon to understand what a disaster it is for him.

All you have to do is to take a glance at the headlines about it: If You Weren’t Convinced Joss Whedon’s A Creep, His Latest Interview Should Help Seal The Deal declares Wonkette; How Joss Whedon went from writing acclaimed projects to defending abuse . allegations offers the Washington Post; Buffy star Charisma Carpenter calls out ‘tyrannical narcissist’ Joss Whedon for ‘shameful’ interview writes The Independent, Joss Whedon Denies Racism Charges by Saying Black Man Is Just a White Man’s Pawn, Vice archly reports; Where does Joss Whedon go now? the Spectator wonders.

One place he definitely shouldn’t go: any place containing Shapiro and a recording device. Whedon clearly thought that a several-day-long interview with New York magazine would allow him to present his side of the story with regard to all the various allegations swirling around him. He was right, but that helped him not a bit ; his side of the story consisted of a lot of weirdly unconvincing denials and non-apologies for his behavior delivered by a man with so much self-pity and so little self-awareness that at one point he suggested that his real problem wasn’t that he was abusive on set but that he was actually too nice for his own good.

People used “every weaponizable word of the modern era to make it seem like I was an abusive monster,” he told Shapiro. “I think I’m one of the nicer showrunners that’s ever been.”

Joss Whedon isn’t the only one to have completely missed the point of his downfall. On Breitbart, John Nolte did his best to cram the Whedon story into one of the conventional narratives of the right these days, writing a post under the somewhat baffling title “Joss Whedon Helped Create the Woke Mob which Destroyed Him.”

At first, Nolte seems almost sympathetic towards Whedon, whom he sees as a man who’s lost his career over stuff that just isn’t that big of a deal.

Over a 30 year career, we’re talking about a guy who lost his temper a few times, who was a demanding boss, who cheated on his wife, and who could be a lousy boyfriend.

But look at what’s missing from the list of charges…

No one has made a single allegation of any kind of sexual misconduct against Whedon — not harassment, not unwanted touching, or even creepy sexual advances. There’s none of that. There are a handful of allegations of him being a Grade-A jerk, of being a middle-aged man attracted to women in their twenties (is human nature now a sin?), of being a garbage husband who had consensual affairs with younger women, but that’s it.

He’s right that Whedon hasn’t (at least not yet) been accused of sexual harassment or worse. But it shouldn’t be necessary for someone like Whedon to face actual criminal charges before movie studios stop asking him to direct. The stories of his allegedly abusive behavior on the set — allegations seconded by a large number of actors and actresses who have worked with him over several decades — should be enough. By almost all accounts except his own, he was a shitty, abusive boss, and no movie studio should want to hire him because of that alone.

Whedon isn’t the first director to face allegations of abusive behavior. Alfred Hitchcock reportedly tormented Tippi Hedron on the set of The Birds because she turned down his sexual advances (she has also accused him of sexually assaulting her several times); Stanley Kubrick is said to have bullied Shelley Duvall so relentlessly while they were working on The Shining that her hair started to fall out. Neither director ever faced any consequences for their bad behavior, because they were geniuses and geniuses in Hollywood can do whatever they want so long as their films make money.

Nolte is convinced that on one level “the blacklisting of Whedon [is] a grotesque overreaction” to mildly damning accusations To judge only by the facts in the case, Nolte writes,

what’s happening and happened to Whedon at the merciless hands of the Woke Nazis and their Kangaroo Court of Public Opinion is outrageous. Whedon’s behavior doesn’t touch the Harvey Weinstein/Kevin Spacey/Bill Clinton/Charlie Rose/Al Franken standard, but…

While Nolte thinks the punishment doesn’t fit Whedon’s “crimes,” such as they are, he’s also convinced that Whedon more or less brought the accusations on himself by being too “woke.” Because, facts be damned, that’s one of the right’s favorite narratives at this point, the story of “woke Nazis” undone by their own PC logic.

What we have to remember is that what’s taking place is taking place in a world where Whedon posed as a male feminist and sought to destroy others who did not live up to HIS perfect standards, a world where he legitimized and condoned and helped to create the very same Woke Nazi Mob that took him down.

Nolte’s “proof” of this claim: links to a small pile of Breitbart articles showing that, well, Whedon is a Hollywood liberal — hating Trump and Bret Kavanaugh and Republicans in general, while supporting Planned Parenthood. It’s a little hard to see how Wedon’s having a number of rather conventional Hollywood liberal opinions somehow makes him a hanging judge for the “Woke Nazi Mob.”

Before his downfall, Whedon was a man with a large following, and rather than behaving responsibly, he whipped that following into a mob.

No he didn’t.

He taught them to be unforgiving and cruel, to hold people to perfect standards no one can achieve, and never to give them the benefit of the doubt or a second chance.

He didn’t do that either.

And then that mob held Whedon to his own standards and found him a flawed hypocrite and, well, look at him now …

A shitty boss exposed as a shitty boss. A shitty husband exposed as a shitty husband. In the real world, people face consequences for this sort of behavior; why shouldn’t film directors also face consequences for their behavior?

It’s not a question of living up to “perfect standards” because, if even some of the allegations are true, Whedon wasn’t even living up the the fairly lax standard of treating one’s subordinates at work with a minimum of decency. As for the endless cheating on his wife with women less than half his age, well, it’s not likely most people would consider that to be exemplary behavior for any man, especially one who postured as a feminist for many years.

Joss Whedon isn’t being sent to prison for his non-existent crimes. He just has to face the reality that a lot of people now think of him as a huge dick. And that maybe that means he won’t get to direct any films with budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars for a while. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Whedon has $100 million to his name. Maybe he can spend his enforced retirement counting it all.

By the way, despite my first paragraph you should read all of Lila Shapiro’s New York magazine piece. It’s quite a ride.

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GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
3 months ago

David, you could have ended the headline after “miss” or at least after “moral” and been correct for the entire content of that odious site and its namesake.

Lying creep gets called out for it, shock horror, the right wing must clutch its pearls that a SWM occasionally faces the consequences of his own actions.

weirwoodtreehugger
3 months ago

My favorite was all the dudes who took to Twitter to express sympathy for Whedon because he was a nerd in high school and maybe they could’ve turned out like them with a little power too.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
3 months ago

I was never a “Joss Whedon is my master” fan. Heck, I wouldn’t have bought a “JMS is my master” t-shirt, and I’m a bigger fan of JMS’ work than I am of Whedon’s.

My disillusion with Whedon began, I think, when I saw footage of him being just a little too (IMO) snarky to his fans at a convention, implying that they hadn’t been bright enough to realize what he was doing when he had written a particular scene. I remember thinking, “Uh, can’t you admit that maybe you weren’t as successful a writer with that particular scene?” Apparently he couldn’t.

Also, what is WITH this trend that you can’t be a bad person if you aren’t found guilty in a court of law? As David has pointed out, you can indulge in a fair amount of crappy behavior that doesn’t qualify as criminal. I don’t particularly care if Whedon ever gets arrested for anything, but I don’t plan to throw any more money in his direction. If he grows up enough to take responsibility for his past behavior, groovy.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
3 months ago

My view of the Jordan Peterson thread here is now an hour and a half out of date. In particular when I load it (and reload, and reload) the “Recent Posts” still doesn’t list this post, nor does the “Recent Comments” show any comment newer than early this afternoon.

I want to see a scheduled date and time when the WHTM server will be returned to operating as it did two weeks ago.

.45
.45
3 months ago

“Whedon posed as a male feminist”

Posed, huh? Nolte got something right, anyway.

Count me as another who found himself arguing against Whedon in the past. I didn’t realize he was what he has turned out to be, but had suspicions that he was a smug asshole who hyped the feminist angle to make himself look good, as well as questioned his fetish for teenage girls who have emotional issues, but possess significant fighting skills.

I really did like Firefly though…

tim gueguen
3 months ago

@Victorious Parasol I read the Whedon piece at the New York website, and in my brief visit to the comments there was one guy who claimed the story was a smear, and no big deal. After all Whedon hadn’t been charged with anything, so he mustn’t have done anything wrong.

A few of the commenters on the Wonkette post about this threw incel around to describe Whedon’s actions. Its interesting how many people are now inappropriately using it as a general term for a sexist douchebag. A man who has been married twice and had multiple affairs during his first marriage isn’t an incel. I would imagine a few of the incel crowd would consider Whedon a typical Chad, even if he was a nerdy kid once upon a time.

QuantumInc
QuantumInc
3 months ago

@tim gueguen Incel isn’t the best word, but there is a connection as a lot of insecure men seem to imagine that having sex with a lot of women would help them somehow, or just feel that as men they should. It’s just how masculinity is socially constructed currently and causes problems for everyone.

I read an interview article from “Vulture” that suggested more self awareness. He even compared himself to a vampire in that (apparently) vampires are outsiders who think they are above everyone else but also below everyone else. He saw a shakespeare play where the villain murders women and them turns to the audience proclaiming that everyone thinks he’s a nice guy but he isn’t and that made Whedon cry. There are some allegations he apologized for but even more he still denies. I’m not sure which is worse, he legitimately doesn’t remember doing these cruel things or is lying.
The remarkable qualities of his childhood would have, if anything, have prevented such toxic behavior, but I guess having a mother who is a famous feminist and friends who constantly quote Shakespeare does more to help you hide the toxic masculinity rather than eliminate it.
He said he felt he had to have sex with those women. The article’s author laughed at first but he wasn’t joking. He worried that he would regret it if he did NOT cheat on his wife. The worst part of sexism, racism, toxic masculinity, and the other things us “SJWs” talk about is how it shows up everywhere.

Snowberry
Snowberry
3 months ago

Every once in awhile you get a show/movie which is “transgressive” in the sense that few works would dare to show some of the attitudes depicted therein, yet the depicted attitudes themselves already have mainstream acceptance and may even be a bit behind the times. Take, for example, Star Trek: The Next Generation, which showed a future which was at times embarrassingly regressive in terms of gender/sex issues even for the late ’80s and early ’90s, yet was still light years ahead (pun intended) of most other things appearing in the media at the time.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one such work, a decade later. (Exactly a decade later, incidentally: ST:TNG ran from 1987-1994, while BtVS ran from 1997-2004.) Joss Whedon’s main claim to “genius” was in convincing studio heads that yes, there is a big enough audience for a (superficially) feminist action-girl show. And much of that audience was so starved for such a thing that they were more than willing to overlook the superficiality of it. Other than that, he’s never been exceptional – not as a director, not as a person. He was an iconoclast in 1997, but hasn’t significantly moved forward since then – not in terms of his craft, his personal flaws, or the cultural relevancy of his works.

And in the end, his ego is so brittle that he keeps publicly shooting himself in the foot trying to defend it.

Daughter
Daughter
3 months ago

@Surplus
David doesn’t owe us a blog or a comment section. Please stop nagging him.

Fabe
Fabe
3 months ago

@.45

I really did like Firefly though…

Same here,I think I will continue to like Firefly, just got to separate the Art from the Artist.

gijoel
gijoel
3 months ago

I didn’t bother reading the article as I could tell from Joss’ body language in the photos that he didn’t think he had done anything wrong.

Snowberry
Snowberry
3 months ago

…Forgot to add: Things like BtVS are historically and culturally relevant in that they paved the way for entertainment media to catch up with the times. They’re (usually) not the first at whatever they did, but they’re the first with enough “reach” to not be dismissed as weird niche media. That’s all the credit I’m going to give him, though. And while I still enjoy the show (well, okay, not season 6) some of it hasn’t aged well, and as previously mentioned, most of the supposed “feminism” was pretty superficial. Can’t comment on Firefly, I never saw that.

Tigerheart
Tigerheart
3 months ago

@ Fabe

Same here re: Firefly. Still one of the best TV shows of the 2000s, imho.

It sounds like Whedon’s early life was psychologically pretty much a mess, but that doesn’t give him a pass for treating other people like caca. Breitbart of course wouldn’t let that get in the way of labelling mainstream media as hypocritical.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
3 months ago

wow this looks like just a garbage human being

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
3 months ago

David said he was turning various plugins on and off to try to locate a problem. That was several days ago. He seems to have just left that task half-finished for some reason, and in the process, left the site with significantly degraded usability.

Meanwhile, I’m having bizarre censorship issues with a different site. Earlier, in a fit of boredom, I decided to drop in on a left-leaning news site I hadn’t visited in a while, addictinginfo. It happened to be down (500 errors) and didn’t quickly recover, so I went to view it in Google’s cache, which is the usual way to circumvent this sort of bullshit when you just want to read an article or two and there’s no need for interactivity.

Turns out, the whole site has been wiped out from Google’s memory. No cache, and site-scoped search results turn up zilch, even for words like “liberal” that must surely be present there.

Why is Google censoring this site? Normally they only totally blacklist a site from appearing in any of their search results in response to extremely abusive “SEO” BS. Like, serious spammer-level abuse. I very much doubt the site in question engaged in that sort of abuse.

It’s also a bit bizarre that the same exact site that Google blacklisted would happen to be having technical difficulties at the exact moment I tried to visit it. “Read a random, recent article at $(NEWS_SITE)” isn’t exactly supposed to be a difficult task. Finding myself somehow unable to do so makes me suspect some kind of foul play. The clincher would be a third independent failure (“three times is enemy action”) but I don’t actually know of a third way to try to do so beyond “go to the site” and “go to a cache that should have it”. Maybe “go there hours later, long past the longest duration a 500-error outage could ever legitimately have”? Which will have to wait a few hours …

Tigerheart
Tigerheart
3 months ago

@Surplus

I went to isitdownrightnow.com after googling AddictingInfo and the site is down currently for everyone, apparently.

Lollypop
Lollypop
3 months ago

“Joss Whedon isn’t being sent to prison for his non-existent crimes. He just has to face the reality that a lot of people now think of him as a huge dick”

Quite. The fact is, while powerful men have been able to get away with this stuff by those around them being complicit or society rationalising it, it’s not as if public opinion hasn’t ALWAYS been of huge importance in Hollywood. If you did something shitty and the media got hold of it, you lost fans, and as an obvious result, your stock as a famous person went down. For instance, it took Jude Law years to recover his career after having a high-profile affair. It’s just that this process is now very visible due to social media, there are more opportunities for celebs to expose their arse metaphorically speaking (racist tweets etc) and attitudes over certain things have evolved.

bekabot
bekabot
3 months ago

“Whedon’s behavior doesn’t touch the Harvey Weinstein/Kevin Spacey/Bill Clinton/Charlie Rose/Al Franken standard, but…”

Al Franken’s behavior wouldn’t touch the Al Franken standard either, except that to John Nolte, Al Franken is a Party enemy.

Mediocrites: longtime reader, relatively recent commenter
Mediocrites: longtime reader, relatively recent commenter
3 months ago

Surplus, I just spent two days with klaxons blaring overhead all shift at work because a fire door malfunctioned, and wouldn’t reset when they tried fixing it. The fire department checked it, couldn’t find any indication anything was wrong, except for the fact the alarm was still going off. Alarm Central didn’t see any alerts, and couldn’t reset anything virtually, because, again, the only indication that anything was wrong was the klaxon itself. So I had to endure a shrill tri-tone alarm going off every five seconds, for nine hours a day, for two days, only to come in to it working normally on day three. Sometimes technology just goes kerflooey for no apparent reason, and sometimes there’s nothing that can be done fix it.
In the case of this blog, maybe David tried some things and couldn’t find a solution, and had to step away for a bit so he doesn’t grab a golf club and “install a new driver” on the server. Maybe he’s waiting for an acquaintance who knows how to fix it to have the free time to help. Maybe he’s not feeling well because he ate some leftover fishsticks that had gone a bit dodgy. Maybe something has come up that would seem inconsequential to us, but has him feeling really overwhelmed right now because it feels like we’re pretty much all exasperated and on the brink of an emotional breakdown after the last two a half years of this damnable plague. Bluntly, there’s a lot of possible explanations that don’t involve any sort of malicious intent of any sort, not even malicious indifference. Issuing ultimatums to our host just stresses everyone out more, including yourself.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
3 months ago

@bekabot: Yeah, I don’t recall Al having multiple affairs, trying to ruin a Black man’s career, and being forbidden to be alone with a 15 year old employee either.

I liked Firefly too. But that was the only one. Everything else was too damn smug.

Queen of the Harpies
Queen of the Harpies
3 months ago

Hot take: I thought Firefly was trash, and I saw all of it, even the movie. I honestly can’t fathom why people found Pioneers in Space so interesting. Sounded like it would’ve gotten worse had it continued.

Never watched Buffy, unless you count the original movie.

As for the man himself? Give zero fucks. People are right to call him out on his dickish behavior.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
3 months ago

Remember when I said “three times is enemy action” yesterday?

It’s enemy action.

After over 24 hours I checked the site again and got another 500 error. Those are supposed to be temporary, but either this one isn’t, very abnormally, or it happens to have gone down a second time again coinciding with an attempt by me to visit it.

Anyone care to offer an explanation for what might be going on here? Because it sure looks to me like some sort of censorship, blocking either me or the whole world from viewing that site. Needless to say nothing of the sort ought to be happening here. This isn’t China or North Korea, though the method (bogus error messages intercepting attempts to access the site, deletion from search engines) sure looks typical of China.

It sure looks like both Google and Cloudflare have decided to, or been arm-twisted into, blocking access; and that Cloudflare at least is lying about having done so, pretending there happens to be a temporary error at the destination host instead of either pretending the site doesn’t exist (and maybe, as in Google’s case, that it never did) or forthrightly saying they’ve ceased doing business with it.

A google search for information on the site from third parties turned up nothing about any such occurrence; but then, that’s probably a result of the deletion of the site from google’s index and cache.

North Sea Sparkly Dragon
North Sea Sparkly Dragon
3 months ago

I vaguely remember something about the actress playing Buffy’s little sister (brain won’t give names right now, even though I used to be a big BtVS fan) had an uncomfortable situation with Joss Whedon. Charisma Carpenter confirmed that they were all quite uncomfortable working with Whedon. Also, fans were discussing this months ago, what too the manosphere so long to catch up?

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
3 months ago

@North Sea Sparkly Dragon: Probably because the interview with Whedon dropped recently. I don’t know what experiences Michelle Trachtenberg had with him, but I do know multiple people on set made sure she was never alone with Whedon. That should probably say enough.

Grung_e_Gene
3 months ago

Firefly seemed cool but remember it’s a Southern Lost Cause repackaging and also really anti-woman with the depiction of several female characters.

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