- Joss Whedon directed 'Justice League'
- He called Ray Fisher "a malevolent force"
- Gal alleged that Joss Whedon had threated to destroy her career
Controversial filmmaker Joss Whedon appears to have sealed his fall from grace by responding to allegations of terrible behaviour by actors Gal Gadot and Ray Fisher with words that would have been better left unsaid. An interview with New York magazine - published on its related website Vulture - that Mr Whedon may have perceived as setting the record straight casts him in an even darker light - in it, the Justice League director is dismissive of Israeli actress Gal Gadot's command of English and calls Ray Fisher "a malevolent force." If he was trying to undo the damage to his public persona, Joss Whedon certainly picked the wrong words with which to do so.
Time was when Joss Whedon could do no wrong, helped by the iconic status of shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. So respected was he that he was brought on board to take over DC's embattled Justice League film after original director Zack Snyder's exit despite having helmed the first two Avengers movies for Marvel.
The reckoning, when it came, was swift - Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in Justice League, accused Joss Whedon of racist and abusive behaviour on set which was overlooked, even enabled, by Warner Bros executives. Gal Gadot, who starred as Wonder Woman, alleged that Mr Whedon had threated to destroy her career. Speaking to New York, Mr Whedon denied the charge, saying, "I don't threaten people. Who does that?" He then claimed that Ms Gadot's language skills were to blame. "English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech," he said. Separately, Gal Gadot told New York, "I understood perfectly."
Referring to Ray Fisher who made grave accusations of racist behaviour on the set of Justice League, Joss Whedon used far more problematic language than he had for Gal Gadot. We're talking about a malevolent force," he told New York, "We're talking about a bad actor in both senses."
Ray Fisher's lengthy tweet about Joss Whedon's allegedly abusive on-set conduct and Gal Gadot's claim that he threatened her career opened the floodgates - anecdotes from cast and crew members of Buffy and other shows trickled in, notably from actresses Charisma Carpenter and Michelle Trachtenberg. Joss Whedon's responses in New York magazine were to downplay or outright dismiss them.
Joss Whedon's handling of the Justice League film left fans disappointed and a call for Zack Snyder to release his original vision of the film - spearheaded by the cast including Superman actor Henry Cavill - resulted in the release of the 'Snyder Cut' last year. The four-hour version reveals that Ray Fisher's role in the Justice League that hit screens had been greatly reduced in length and impact.