Buffy's Anthony Head 'Gutted' to Hear Costars' Allegations Against Joss Whedon: 'How on Earth Did I Not Know?'
In a virtual sit-down with ITV's This Morning on Thursday, Head, 66, said he has been "gutted" by claims that Whedon, 56, had allegedly created a "hostile and toxic" work environment on the set of the teen drama and its spinoff series, Angel.
When contacted by PEOPLE, reps for Whedon did not have a comment at this time.
"I have been up most of the night just running through my memories thinking, 'What did I miss?' " Head said during his interview.
"This is not a man saying, 'I didn't see it so it didn't happen,' " he continued. "I am gutted. I'm seriously gutted because one of my memories — my fondest memory — was the fact that it was so empowering. Not just with the words in the script, but the family feel of the show."
"I am really sad that if people went through these experiences," the actor said.
According to Head, who played Rupert Giles — the mentor to Sarah Michelle Gellar's Buffy character — on the show, he's especially devastated by the allegations because he saw himself as "sort of father figure" on set.
"I would hope that someone would come to me and say, 'I'm struggling. I just had a horrible conversation,' " he shared.
Head added that some of the claims that have surfaced are now "making me think, 'How on earth did I not know this was going on?' "
On Wednesday, Charisma Carpenter — who starred as Cordelia Chase on Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1997–1999 and Angel from 1999-2004 — shared lengthy statement on social media accusing Whedon of making repeated threats to fire her and efforts to "alienate" her from her peers.
"For nearly two decades, I have held my tongue and made excuses for certain events that traumatize me to this day," Carpenter, 50, began in her statement. "Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me and alienate me from my peers.
"The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer," Carpenter added. "It is with a beating, heavy heard that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively."
During one alleged instance, Carpenter claimed Whedon asked her if she planned to "keep" her baby after learning she was pregnant. She also claimed he "callously" called her "fat" to colleagues during her pregnancy.
"He proceeded to attack my character, mock my religious beliefs, accuse me of sabotaging the show, and then unceremoniously fired me the following season once I gave birth," she alleged.
Amber Benson, who played recurring character Tara Maclay on Buffy, tweeted her support for Carpenter, praising the actress for "speaking her truth."
"Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top," wrote Benson, 44. "@AllCharisma is speaking truth and I support her 100%. There was a lot of damage done during that time and many of us are still processing it twenty plus years later."
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Gellar, 43, also spoke out in the wake of the allegations, writing in a statement: "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. I am more focused on raising my family and surviving a pandemic currently, so I will not be making any further statements at this time. But I stand with all survivors of abuse and am proud of them for speaking out."
Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Dawn Summers in the series, went on reposted Gellar's statement on her Instagram with the caption: "Thank you @sarahmgellar for saying this. I am brave enough now as a 35 year old woman....To repost this. Because. This must. Be known. As a teenager. With his not appropriate behavior....very. Not. Appropriate."
"We know what he did," she added in another Instagram Story post. "Behind. The. Scenes."