Television writer and Wynonna Earp creator Emily Andras shares a tweet thread about Joss Whedon, renewing conversations about separating the art from the artist. Given the recent 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s finale, Whedon’s most influential project and its complicated legacy have resurfaced in headlines. The cast of Buffy and its spinoff Angel has spoken out over the past few years about how Whedon caused a toxic work environment, citing his bullying, verbal abuse, and tendency to pit people against one another. These revelations came on the heels of an investigation into Whedon’s behavior on the set of 2017’s Justice League movie.


Andras shared a tweet thread to discuss the importance of separating Whedon’s art from who he is as a person. Andras credited the Buffy creator and Avengers director for “groundbreaking, cultural work that moved us all”, stressing the dangers of pretending that bad people can’t produce entertaining and even important works. Andras’s argument, which noted that dismissing Whedon’s work “helps no one & protects nobody moving forward”, drew support but also some pushback. You can read Andras’s thread, in addition to some responses, below:

Emily Andras Is Right (But It’s Still A Difficult Discussion)

Joss Whedon and Sarah Michelle Gellar on the Buffy Magic Box set

The basic argument that people who have said and done terrible things can also produce excellent work is true. Some on social media argued that praising Whedon’s past projects needlessly elevates him. An even bigger dividing point came as a result of Andras mentioning J.K. Rowling, as it was argued that the Harry Potter author has been more harmful by mainstreaming anti-trans views.

Related: Buffy Controversy Explained: All The Allegations Against Joss Whedon

That second point demonstrates that even within discussions of creators of notable pop culture, each individual audience member will have their own level of tolerance and limits for what they’re willing to support. One user suggested that this was the difference between acknowledging a creator’s past work and continuing to support their new projects even after their toxic behaviors have been made public.

It’s a separation that each person will have to make for themselves. As it relates to Buffy, the cast and crew haven’t shied away from their involvement with the series. Even in the case of Charisma Carpenter sharing the most specific accusations against Whedon, she remains proud of her performance and impact as Cordelia. And, ultimately, while the series creator is a part of that legacy, he’s not all of it. It doesn’t end with him.

Source: Emily Andras/Various

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