Joss Whedon has built a career on being a supporter of diversity, and specifically feminism in his work in television and film. The creator of the iconic 90s show Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been an outspoken defender of women in the industry, although that label has stated to slip in recent years thanks to the negative reaction to Black Widow’s treatment in Avenger: Age of Ultron. As with any cultural icon who is used as a symbol for how things should really be, the Whedon backlash has been swift, and punishing.
In a guest blog published on The Wrap, Whedon’s ex-wife Kai Cole pokes wholes in Whedon’s public persona.
“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.”
As well as painting Whedon as a hypocrite, Cole also reveals that the director, who is currently working on Justice League, has had a string of affairs over the years.
“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.”
Whedon is refusing to comment at this time.