Panel Name: Women of Whedon
Topic: An hour with four women who have all worked with Joss Whedon.
Featured Guests: Jewel Staite (Kaylee in Firefly), Emma Caulfield (Anya in Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Amy Acker (Fred in Angel, Whiskey in Dollhouse, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, and Lin in The Cabin in the Woods) and moderated by Clare Kramer (Glory in Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
Between the four women, Denver was treated with a group of talent who have been a part of every single Whedon’s creator owned projects. Most of them have never worked together (Kramer and Caulfield rarely had scenes together in their time on Buffy), but their connection is strong; once you are part of Joss Whedon’s world, you will always be part of that world, and you will always have an amazingly strong and ever-growing fan base.
Most of the panel revolved around memories of being on set. Pranks weren’t really a thing; there wasn’t time for it. It was a relief for Firefly to be cancelled considering how FOX treated the show. Joss took Amy to coffee to tell her Fred would die and Illyria, the demon goddess, would be born. There was a lot of reminiscing about practicing Shakespeare in Whedon’s kitchen and how spoiled all of them were to be part of his world.
The mood was broken when a fan asked how they felt about the betrayal women in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The question caused four sets of furrowed brows on the stage. None of the women jumped at the chance to answer the question, but Kramer, Acker, and Staite all jumped at the chance to defend the writer.
“As far as Joss’ portrayal, you can’t look at what he did with the character and put all the fault and blame on him. He was responding to the MCU.”
“He writes really great women characters. You never know what parts were left out. I think there was a lot more of that movie than what we all got to see. I would like to see his full version.”
“Just because you are the writer/director of a movie, of a franchise, does not mean you have complete creative control. You have to keep in mind that Joss has a ton of people behind him giving him a million opinions and telling him exactly what they want to see and what they want in the script, and he is trying like hell to please everybody, including you. That’s an impossible task. I think he has proven himself to be an incredibly intelligent writer who writes beautiful, strong, interesting, multilayered characters for women, and nothing drives me more crazy than people sitting behind their computer screens and thinking they can say whatever the fuck they want.” … “It’s not freedom of speech; it is bullying. It’s not fair to anybody, I don’t care who you are, it’s not fair.” … “I think it’s gross human behavior and there is no room for it. And for whatever reason he decided to leave Twitter, I very passionately defend him. And I think that all of his work seems to have completely gone away because of this. And we have to remember what he is known for and what he stands for and that is the characters he has written. I love him.”
Staite’s passionate speech about Whedon had many responses, but all of them ended in an ovation and whoops from the audience.
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