'Buffy' And 'Avengers' Director Joss Whedon: Ex-Wife Slams Him For 'Hypocrisy' About Feminism

Buffy and Avengers director Joss Whedon's ex-wife, Kai Cole, penned a scathing blog post on August 20 for The Wrap, revealing that during their 17-year marriage, Whedon's "feminism" was for public consumption only.

Whedon and Cole separated in April, 2012, Us Weekly reported, and Whedon filed for divorce on December 8, 2012. The divorce was finalized July 1, 2016, in Los Angeles, according to Us Weekly. Cole wrote in her blog post that Whedon was content to let the public think the couple was still married, although they had lived separately for five years.

According to Cole, Whedon told her that he "always had a lot of female friends" because his mother raised him as a feminist. He informed Cole that he "admired and respected females," but didn't "lust after them." Cole wrote that Whedon decided to have his first affair while on the set of Buffy. Whedon's Twitter account currently describes the filmmaker as "indifferent honest."

Cole's blog post details how Whedon conducted affairs with other women behind her back for 15 years of the couple's 17-year marriage. As the marriage came to an end and Whedon confessed his infidelity, Cole says that he wrote the following.

"As a guilty man I knew the only way to hide was to act as though I were righteous. And as a husband, I wanted to be with you like we had been. I lived two lives... In many ways I was the HEIGHT of normal, in this culture. We're taught to be providers and companions and at the same time, to conquer and acquire — specifically sexually — and I was pulling off both!"

Joss Whedon and female actors from Avengers: Age of Ultron
Chloe Bennet (l) Joss Whedon and Elizabeth Henstridge (r) at the Los Angeles premiere of "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" April 13, 2015. [Image by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images]

Whedon has built his career on being a "feminist" and telling women's' stories via film and television. In addition to creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse, he is slated as a scriptwriter for the forthcoming Batgirl, according to IMDB. The Inquisitr reported on June 2 that Whedon defended the woman-only screening of Wonder Woman against fan backlash via social media.
Whedon released a feminist-oriented short film on behalf of Planned Parenthood in May, according to Entertainment Weekly. He founded a political Super PAC "Save the Day" that assembled the Avengers cast and other celebrities to create videos supporting Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Whedon donated $1 million to the "Save the Day" campaign.

Whedon tweeted his opposition to Donald Trump's gender bias during and after the 2016 election campaign.

Cole wrote in The Wrap that during her 20-year relationship with Whedon, he "used his relationship with me as a shield … so no one would question his relationships with other women or scrutinize his writing as anything other than feminist."

Buffy actor Alyson Hannigan and Joss Whedon at Make Equality a Reality Awards in 2013
Alyson Hannigan, left, and honoree Joss Whedon arrive at the Make Equality Reality Gala in Beverly Hills in 2013. [Image by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP Images]

The Mary Sue, which published an essay that questioned Whedon's feminism in 2011, is among many fan-oriented publications asking whether Whedon's feminism is real or not in the wake of Cole's revelations.

Cole wrote that when Whedon confessed his multiple infidelities after 15 years of marriage, she went from "being a strong, confident woman" to a "confused, frightened mess." Eventually diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Cole now reports that she is "doing architecture again" and is getting her life and self-esteem back.

"While this account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations which can be harmful to their family, Joss is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife," Whedon's spokesperson told The Wrap.

[Featured Image by Kevin Winger/Getty Images]