Was ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ a “Toxic Male Set?” Sarah Michelle Gellar Opens Up.

The actress says she was led to believe toxic masculinity was a normal part of show biz.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is opening up about how working on a “toxic male set” as a young woman morphed her perception on what a TV or movie set needed to be in order to succeed. Known for her iconic role as Buffy Summers, Gellar touched on her experience with male toxicity in Hollywood at The Wrap’s Power of Women Summit on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

“For so long, I was on a set that I think was known for being an extremely toxic male set, and so that was ingrained in my head that that was what all sets were like,” she said during the Power of Storytelling: Producers Roundtable.

While she didn’t refer to the set by name, fans were quick to assume Gellar was alluding to Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The ‘90s teen TV drama has come under fire in recent years by Gellar’s costars following allegations towards show creator Joss Whedon.

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She added that women were often made to view other women on set as a threat or enemy rather than a colleague or collaborator or ally.

“Women were pitted against each other — that if women became friends, then we became too powerful, so you had to keep that down,” Gellar said.

Now, however, Gellar says the tides are changing. The 45-year old Cruel Intentions actress shared she’s “realized how easy an experience” working on a set can be after having the “opportunity to work with so many more women and men that support women as well.”

The caveat to this movement, Gellar notes, is that in order for voices like hers to be heard there needs to be a higher ratio of women on set.

“Unfortunately we’re still in that place where all of those departments a lot of times need to be women for us to have a voice,” she said.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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