Joss Whedon's Ex-Wife Says He is a 'Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals"
I've been a huge fan of Joss Whedon ever since his early Buffy The Vampire Slayer days. He's an insanely talented individual that has made some amazing TV series and films. One of the things he is best known for is his strong the strong female characters that he has given fans. He's also known for his feminist ideals and has even been presented with awards for them.
As it turns out, Whedon's ex-wife, Kai Cole, knows a very different part of the man and it's a part that fans, like myself, don't want to hear. She recently wrote an essay that was posted on The Wrap detailing her history with Whedon and some of the events that occurred during their 16 years marriage.
She talks about how they met, how she was the one who talked Whedon into developing Buffy The Vampire Slayer as a TV series, and how that led to multiple affairs while he was married. She includes excerpts from letters that he had written her admitting to what he had done. She explains how this affected her, saying:
Despite understanding, on some level, that what he was doing was wrong, 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. 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.
I thought we were a couple, a team. I was a powerful influence on the career choices Joss made during the 20 years we were together (we lived together for four years before marrying). I kept him grounded, and helped him find the quickest way to the success he so deeply craved. I loved him. And in return, he lied to me. A lot. He said, after he left, he understood: “It’s not just like I killed you, but that I’d done it subtly, over years. That I’d been poisoning you. Chipping away at you.” He made me doubt my own instincts and watched me move further away from my personal values and social mores, trying to connect with him, never telling me it was impossible. By the time he finally confessed the truth, 15 years after his first affair on the set of “Buffy,” I was broken. My brain could not fit my experience of our life together, through the new lens of his deceit.
My entire reality changed overnight, and I went from being a strong, confident woman, to a confused, frightened mess. I was eventually diagnosed with Complex PTSD and for the last five years, I have worked hard to make sense of everything that happened and find my balance again. It has not been easy, because even though in my personal life I have been completely open about what happened, publicly people only know his superficial presentation of us: him as the lovable geek-feminist and me in the background, as his wife and supporter.
I'm not here to judge, but that's sad and disappointing to hear. We all know Hollywood isn't known for its high moral standards, but that's not an excuse to do what he did. I don't know, maybe he shouldn't go out preaching about feminism after all this. He might not be the best spokesperson.
After the article was posted, the popular Joss Whedon fan site Whedonesque, which has been operating for fifteen years shut down. A spokesperson for Whedon also offered the following statement:
"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."
What are your thoughts on all this?