Joss Whedon

American director, writer, and producer

Joseph "Joss" Hill Whedon (born 23 June 1964) is an American screenwriter, film and television director, film and television producer, comic book author, composer and actor whose works have emphasized themes of feminism, anti-authoritarianism, existentialism and absurdism.

People with real power never fear of losing it. People with control think of little else.
See also:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992 film)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 - 2003)
Angel (1999 - 2004)
Firefly (2002 - 2003)
Astonishing X-Men (2004 - 2008)
Serenity (2005 film)
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
The Avengers (2012 film)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)


I don't actually have anything against anybody, unless their belief precludes everybody else's. … I am an atheist and an absurdist and I have been for many years. I've actually taken a huge amount of flack for that.
I believe the only reality is how we treat each other. The morality comes from the absence of any grander scheme, not from the presence of any grander scheme.
The idea of changing culture is important to me, and it can only be done in a popular medium.
The greatest expression of rebellion is joy.
All worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn't your pet — it's your kid. It grows up and talks back to you.
  • The first thing I ever thought of when I thought of Buffy, the movie, was the little...blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and gets killed, in every horror movie. The idea of Buffy was to subvert that idea, that image, and create someone who was a hero where she had always been a victim. That element of surprise … genre-busting is very much at the heart of both the movie and the series.
  • I think there's a lot of people out there who say we must not have horror in any form, we must not say scary things to children because it will make them evil and disturbed... That offends me deeply, because the world is a scary and horrifying place, and everyone's going to get old and die, if they're that lucky. To set children up to think that everything is sunshine and roses is doing them a great disservice. Children need horror because there are things they don't understand. It helps them to codify it if it is mythologized, if it's put into the context of a story, whether the story has a happy ending or not. If it scares them and shows them a little bit of the dark side of the world that is there and always will be, it's helping them out when they have to face it as adults.
    • Said to Michael Silverberg of NPR; quote featured in the Buffy Monster Book (2000)
  • You can either watch TV or you can make TV.
    • Underground Online, interview by Michael Patrick Sullivan
  • Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the road less traveled by and they CANCELLED MY FRIKKIN' SHOW. I totally shoulda took the road that had all those people on it. Damn.
    • Bronze Beta web message board, (14 February 2004) [1]; after Whedon's discovery that The WB had cancelled Angel. Compare: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost, "The Road Not Taken" (1916).
  • The network called up and said 'We piggybacked you on the deal for another show,' I'm like 'Okay, so what you're saying to my writers is that they weren't picked up when they thought they were and now that they are it was because of something that has nothing to do with them. Okay. Great. Stop calling'.
    • Underground Online, interview by Michael Patrick Sullivan
    • Note: This is in reference to the WB network announcing that Angel had been confirmed for a full fifth season of 22 episodes, when Mutant Enemy Productions had already assumed that to be so.
  • My visions of the future are always pretty much standard issue. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer... and there are flying cars.
    • TV Guide (27 December – 2 January 2004), and Foreword to Fray
  • Veronica solves little puzzles because she, like all of us, cannot unravel the bigger ones.
    • Veronica Mars: The Complete First Season Reviewed by Joss Whedon[2]
  • I believe the only reality is how we treat each other. The morality comes from the absence of any grander scheme, not from the presence of any grander scheme.
    • "Joss Whedon: Atheist & Absurdist", comments made in a Q&A-session in Australia, while promoting his movie Serenity (2005)
  • If I made a series of lectures on PBS on why there should be feminism, no one would be coming to the party, and it would be boring. The idea of changing culture is important to me, and it can only be done in a popular medium.
    • "We Don’t Say Indian" in Slay Age (2005); also quoted in Ink-stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology (2010) by Jennifer K. Stuller
  • I know there's been some debate about the DVD art. Just remember it's what's INside that counts, as I used to remind girls in high school constantly. CONSTANTLY — until I realized that I was empty inside. Empty and homely. Man, that's a rough combo.
    • "Joss to never learn how to work site! Man is complete Melvin! Mock him!" at (9 November 2005)
  • People love a happy ending. So every episode, I will explain once again that I don't like people. And then Mal will shoot someone. Someone we like. And their puppy.
    • "This explains Joss perfectly." at (15 February 2006)
  • SENTINEL: Is dead Buffy actually a robot?
  • Joss: Um, no. Dead Buffy's a Buffy. But a dead one.
    • As quoted in The Orlando Sentinel (24 May 2001)
  • There is nothing more painful in the world than Aly when she makes her big eyes. She makes her big hurt eyes, there's nothing you can do. She just kills you.
    • DVD commentary for Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode 2-14 "Innocence"
  • I think that people need two kinds of fulfillment — one in which you give and one in which you hold back. Part of fulfillment is need, is longing, is being unfulfilled, that’s the nature of tragedy and a lot of drama. Very often, what the fans want, they get. But very often, what they want, they can’t quite have, because we want them to feel the way our characters felt...
  • Hello, I'm the writer and director. Now take your clothes off and get on top of Morena.
    • Reportedly said on the set of Serenity to Phillip Sternborg on his first day of filming, as quoted in the DVD commentary of Firefly boxset (2003).
  • We’re talking about a malevolent force, We’re talking about a bad actor in both senses.
    • About Ray Fisher [3]


  • If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.

Quotes about Joss Whedon

  • You only have to look at the chubby little goblin and you see Gamma face. Puffy and pinched with sunken piggy eyes. The Germans have a word, Backpfeifengesicht, a face in need of a fist. Just looking at a picture of Whedon and any normal man feels his fingers instinctively start to clench.
  • Whedon as man appears to have inspired no loyalty at all from the people that worked for him.
  • Joss Whedon abused his power on numerous occasions while working together on the sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. While he found his misconduct amusing, it only served to intensify my performance anxiety, disempower me, and alienate me from my peers. The disturbing incidents triggered a chronic physical condition from which I still suffer. It is with a beating, heavy heart that I say I coped in isolation and, at times, destructively. Last summer, when Ray Fisher publicly accused Joss of abusive and unprofessional behaviour toward the cast and crew during reshoots on the Justice League set in 2017, it gutted me. Joss has a history of being casually cruel. He has created hostile and toxic work environments since his early career. I know because I experienced it first-hand. Repeatedly.
  • Joss intentionally refused multiple calls from my agents making it impossible to connect with him to tell him the news that I was pregnant. Finally, once Joss was apprised of the situation, he requested a meeting with me. In that closed-door meeting, he asked me if I was "going to keep it" and manipulatively weaponized my womanhood and faith against me. He proceeded to attack my character, mock my religious beliefs, accuse me of sabotaging the show, and then unceremoniously fired me the following season once I gave birth.
  • It is abundantly evident that Joss has persisted in his harmful actions, continuing to create wreckage in his wake. My hope now, by finally coming forward about these experiences, is to create space for the healing of others who I know have experienced similar serialized abuses of power.
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