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One of the few good things you can say about the current state of the entertainment industry is that it’s gradually becoming less of a safe haven for abusers. One of the latest set of allegations, levelled against one-time geek god Joss Whedon, have now been furthered by a stunt team couple from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Sophia Crawford, who performed as Sarah Michelle Gellar’s stunt double throughout Buffy’s first four seasons, and Jeff Pruitt, who was the series’ stunt coordinator from the beginning of season 2 to the end of season 4, met on the show’s set and began dating. Pruitt eventually found the working environment untenable and left the series after Whedon grew into “a real egomaniac who believed his own hype” and “tensions grew and certain members of the crew began to plot against each other.”
Crawford was asked to return to continue portraying the blonde badass’ more dangerous moments, but was given an ultimatum that her continued employment was conditional on her breaking up with Pruitt. She refused and joined him in looking for another job.
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Whedon informed the pair that “no one will ever hire you again after this,” not explicitly stating that he intended to torpedo their careers so any an allegation of such would be technically unfounded, but nevertheless heavily insinuating it. Due to having many industry friends, they were able to continue working and “make more money with less heartache,” but Pruitt nevertheless had job offers disappear and was told producers were looking for some like him but specifically not him.
Additionally, Crawford discovered that producers had copies of all Pruitt’s emails sent during their time on the show, leading to Pruitt discovering a keylogger on his home computer used to monitor his correspondence.
Joss Whedon is yet to respond to any of the comments made about his unprofessional behavior, but given the nature of stories such as these, it’s unlikely to be the last time people come forward with allegations.