Joss Whedon says Israeli actress misinterpreted his remarks; Gadot replies that she “understood perfectly,” would never work with him again.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
A director accused of bullying and verbally abusive behavior on set by Israeli actress Gal Gadot fired back against the allegations on Monday, saying that the star interpreted his remarks incorrectly because of a language barrier.
Joss Whedon, who directed the 2017 Justice League movie, which featured Gadot as Wonder Woman, denied charges that he had threatened the actress’s career.
Speaking to New York Magazine, Whedon said, “I don’t threaten people. Who does that?”
He chalked up an interaction with Gadot that triggered her to complain to Warner Brothers as a simple misunderstanding, attributed to the fact that the actress is not a native English speaker.
“English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech,” he said.
According to Whedon, during a discussion about a scene that Gadot wanted to cut, he “jokingly” told her that the only way that would happen is if she tied him to a railroad track and did it “over his dead body.”
But, Whedon said, Gadot had misunderstood him and complained to studio executives.
“Then I was told that I had said something about her dead body and tying her to the railroad track,” he recounted.
In an email to New York Magazine, Gadot disputed Whedon’s version of events, saying that she had “understood him perfectly. I will never work with him [again], and would never suggest any of my peers to work with him in the future.”
During an interview with Hebrew-language outlet N12 several months ago, the actress said that she had clashed with the director, who was facing allegations of abusive behavior on set from multiple actors.
“I had my issues with Joss and I handled it,” she said. “He kind of threatened my career and said if I did something, he will make sure my career is miserable.”
Whedon, who once directed the wildly popular TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was accused by a star of the series of multiple incidents of bullying and cruelty.
Buffy star Charisma Carpenter said that when Whedon learned she was pregnant, he called her fat and asked her if she planned to keep the baby.
She was then “unceremoniously” fired from the series after giving birth.
“Joss has a history of being casually cruel. He has created hostile and toxic work environments since his early career,” Carpenter wrote on her Instagram account in February 2021.
“I know because I experienced it first-hand. Repeatedly.”