Or: Whyyyyyy Joss Whedon WHhyyyyYYYyyy *sobs*
In this the year of 2017, when all the terrible things that can happen, apparently will happen, we’re bearing witness to many people who should be visionary leaders, falling from grace, by will or by disgrace. It’s possibly the worst timing ever seeing as there are literal Nazis running around our great nation and we need all the positivity and hope we can get. Easily, this post about fallen heroes could focus on a) people who should be heroes, but aren’t: our lackluster president, with his 35% approval rating; b) people who were heroes, but are no longer with us: the far too recently deceased Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, both of whom I am still mourning; or c) people who have been heroic, but have now revealed irreconcilably evil deeds: yes, I am taking about Joss Whedon specifically, but really, we all know he’s not the only one.
Beloved writer and director… acclaimed feminist … outspoken activist… sayer of this:
I want to keep this short to stop myself from ranting or crying. Joss Whedon inspired many, both men and women, with his call to action style of writing. He wrote heroes to show us all who we could be, even when the odds were against us or we were afraid. I love his work. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel helped form who I am as a person, and that’s not an exaggeration. And yet, in light of recent exposures, I am now filled with misgivings and disappointment. The article his ex-wife Kai Cole wrote for The Wrap is devastating; it illustrates him not only as hypocrite, but as cruel and manipulative, a truth I cannot merge with my image of him as the writer epitome of virtue and bravery. I stood him next to other great humanists in my mind, heroes like Kurt Vonnegut and Katharine Hepburn. And now, he has fallen from their ranks leaving questions to which I do not know the answers.
Questions like: do his failings diminish his art? Does less of a man equal less of a masterpiece? Is he capable of change now, after lying and cheating for more than 15 years? Will his future endeavors now resonate less, knowing what I now know about his infidelity and abuse?
I don’t know.
What I do know is that I am saddened by this news.
I suppose a lot of us are losing faith in the things we once held sacred, but somehow I didn’t expect this to be one of those things. In real life, away from TV shows and books and movies, I try to live by simple rules I found in those mediums. Art affecting Life. One of the biggest of those rules was written by Joss Whedon:
That’s all, folks. There’s not really a point here I know. If you’re interested in reading Kai Cole’s letter in its entirety, the link is at the bottom along with a couple other sites reporting on the story. Hell. I guess that’s the one shining light in this rolling darkness: both the left and the right leaning media readily agree: Joss Whedon is a villain hiding behind his white hat.
Staff, Wrap. “Joss Whedon Is a ‘Hypocrite Preaching Feminist Ideals,’ Ex-Wife Kai Cole Says (Guest Blog).” TheWrap, TheWrap, 20 Aug. 2017, http://www.thewrap.com/joss-whedon-feminist-hypocrite-infidelity-affairs-ex-wife-kai-cole-says/.
Bois, Paul. “Joss Whedon’s Ex-Wife BLASTS His ‘Hypocritical’ Feminism: He Cheated On Me Multiple Times.” Daily Wire, 21 Aug. 2017, http://www.dailywire.com/news/19978/joss-whedons-ex-wife-blasts-his-fake-feminism-he-paul-bois.
Vagianos, Alanna. “Joss Whedon’s Ex-Wife Warns He’s A Hypocrite ‘Preaching Feminist Ideals’.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Aug. 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/joss-whedons-ex-wife-warns-hes-a-hypocrite-preaching-feminist-ideals-in-revealing-essay_us_599ad248e4b01f6e801fa06c.