An open letter to Joss Whedon from a Buffy fan: “The hardest thing in this world is to live in it”

Dear Joss,

Let me start by saying that your cheating on your wife, Kai Cole, over much of your 16-year marriage is not about me. I get that. The fact that you slept with actresses and, apparently, lots of other women does not change the fact that “Firefly” and “Buffy” are works of genius. The fact that you did all of this while touting yourself as a feminist doesn’t change the fact that I love the Whedon universe.

But, damn you any way. Damn you for writing powerful fictional women while you treated actual women like crap. Damn you for betraying your wife while teaching us about courage and loyalty. Damn you for showing us how life is the ultimate “big bad” while in your own life, you were the “big bad.”

You don’t owe me anything, Joss. It’s not your responsibility to be the actual feminist that you portrayed yourself as being. You have no obligation to be moral while you’re talking to the press about how your mom was a strong woman. You don’t even have to explain why you accepted acclaim as a public feminist while in your private life you were being an ass. 

You owe me nothing, Joss. And you owe nothing to my daughter, who survived being a preteen and a move across the US after seventh grade by watching “Buffy” with me.

That’s not the deal you make as a famous person. We’re required only to be your audience, or not. Our dreams about your true identity are not on you. That’s on us. 

If we look to you for the guidance we need, then we’re naive and pathetic. You are not our lighthouse. You are only a man. And, it turns out, sort of an awful man. A man who lies to his wife. A man who lies to the world. A man who lies to himself.

For the moment, your shows—these inspiring, painful, funny, moving, joyful shows—will not be on my playlist. I can’t watch them right now. Your ex-wife’s words trump your words for the moment. Even though it’s none of my business, and it’s not about me.

My heart hurts. My head hurts. My stomach hurts. Even though this has nothing at all to do with me. Even though the whole damn world seems to be going to hell in a hand basket. 

So, Joss, even though this isn’t about me, damn you. I wish bad Willow were here to eviscerate and flay you with bad magic.

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