Whedonesque Shuts Down After Fifteen Years Following News of Joss Whedon’s Infidelity

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Thanks to an account from Joss Whedon’s ex-wife, architect and film producer Kai Cole, we know more about Whedon’s history of cheating on and lying to his wife while purposely taking advantage of his position of power in the film and television industry to “conquer and acquire — specifically sexually” women who worked for him. Now, his biggest supporters are falling by the wayside.

A mere hours after Cole’s guest blog appeared at The Wrap, the long-running Whedon fan site, Whedonesque, announced that it would soon become a read-only site after over fifteen years in operation. This is a huge blow to Whedon fandom (well, not as big a blow as finding out that someone you respect and admire is a cheating, gaslighting liar, but still), as the site has been one of the leading sources of all news related to Whedon’s projects, as well as the people related to them. Whedon himself would even contribute on occasion, or post in the comments, lending the fan site a legitimacy that few fan sites get.

Here is their announcement post from yesterday:

“So farewell then. 15 years is a long time and a lot of water has flowed under the bridge. But now it’s time to say goodbye. No more threads after this one, we’re closing down. The site will at some stage become a read only site. So if you want to leave your contact details in this thread for other posters to get in touch that would be great otherwise email us at [email protected].

The admins would like to thank the posters at this site. You made this site and we wouldn’t have lasted as long as we could without you. So thank you. And if you want to mark our passing, please find a charity or organisation that deals with the treatment of Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) and leave a donation.”

Now, they don’t mention Cole’s post specifically, and fifteen years is a long time to have to maintain and operate a fan site. Perhaps they’d been intending to shut down for a while now, and this was the perfect reason. However, the timing, not to mention the fact that they ask people to donate to organizations that support treatment of Complex PTSD (which Cole mentioned having been diagnosed with in her post), makes it look like the news of Whedon’s actions had a lot to do with the site closing up shop.

While many readers of the site completely understood and agreed with the decision, still others in the comments of the farewell post called for people to separate the man from the work and remember that despite the actions of the person who created them, these stories genuinely made a difference in people’s lives, were the catalysts for real-world activism (with fans raising money for Equality Now and other charities), and formed many friendships.

Hell, I myself have a friend who met her now-husband on a Buffy message board back in the day, and they’ve been happily married for years and have two kids.

Everyone has their line, however, and ultimately it’s the decision of the folks running Whedonesque to decide where theirs are and do with the site what they will. Personally, while I will always love Buffy and Firefly, be fascinated by Dollhouse, and appreciate Whedon’s take on the Avengers, I completely understand being less enthusiastic about supporting the man, or his future work right now.

Whedon has been problematic for other reasons for a while. This might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

(via The Daily Dot, image: )

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.