Joss Whedon

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Name: Joss Whedon
Also Known As: Joss, Whedon
Occupation: Films: Writer, director. Television: executive producer, creator, showrunner, writer, director, cameo actor, diva. Comics: Writer
Medium: Film, television, comics
Works: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly/Serenity, Astonishing X-Men, Runaways, Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Dollhouse, The Avengers Movieverse (MCU), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Much Ado About Nothing,
Official Website(s): Occasionally blogs at Whedonesque
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages


Creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly/Serenity (known in various combinations as the Buffyverse or Jossverse.) Has an unusually friendly relationship with fandom and is one of a handful of creators who has more or less his own fandom, not just fans of individual shows, as demonstrated by the instant success of his made-for-the-internet film, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and the number of fans who followed him into comics fandom when he began writing Astonishing X-Men. He also gained favored with his directing of The Avengers film, leading him direct involvement with its sequel as well as the TV spin-off series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..


Many phrases from Whedon's shows have become common in some fannish circles, such as I'll be in my bunk or referring to a specific canon as a "Verse"; also, the phenomenon of having one's fannish theories or fanon invalidated by new canon has become known as "being Jossed."

The first Writercon, in 2004, was explicitly focused on the works of Joss Whedon.

Similarities in style, themes across all works

Notable interactions with fans

Opinion(s) on record about fandom, fanfic, etc.

Whedon is on record as being pro-fanfiction and other creative works; in one interview, he said "That's why I made these shows. I didn't make them so that people would enjoy them and forget them; I made them so they would never be able to shake them. It’s the way I am as a fan. I create the shows that would make me do that."[1]

In another interview he answered the question: Do you share William Shatner's opinion of the most ardent fans that they need to get a life? Whedon's reply: "I have never had any particular life of my own, so I don't see any particular reason why anyone should run out to get one. Of course, if they're dressing up like Willow and staying in their basement for nine months at a time, that's not good. But the show's designed to foster slavish devotion; it has it from me, and I entirely respect it in others." [2]

Criticisms of


Whedon gained a reputation as a feminist during his years doing Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Not only was the show centered around a kickass heroine, but she also had a variety of female friends and foes. Meanwhile, many academics have analyzed Buffy from a feminist perspective, covering the show's treatment of gender roles, female empowerment, and other potentially feminist aspects.[3] However, both academics and fans have pointed out that Buffy fails at intersectionality, its emphasis being white middle class feminism.[?] Some fans have increasingly begun to question Whedon's feminism; Dollhouse was the breaking point for several of Whedon's supporters.

"Also, for all that he likes talking about writing girls, lately, he's not even pretending to give a preference to them. Can fandom please stop talking about how awesomely feminist and how supremely women-positive and women-focused he is now?" [4]
People who are not long-time fans of Whedon criticize his other work like Buffy and Firefly too, often finding the female characters more failed attempts at kickass heroines than actual kickass heroines. Daniel Hemmens, writing for FerretBrain comments:
Basically, Joss Whedon's portrayal of women tallies almost perfectly with the phenomenon known generally on the internet as Nice Guy Syndrome.

Just to clarify, the term “Nice Guy Syndrome” has two essentially contrary meanings (check out the Urban Dictionary Entry. Its first use is the perceived phenomenon whereby women date “jerks” because they're stupid/insecure/oppressed by the patriarchy/have Stockholm Syndrome when they should really be dating “nice guys” like – well – whichever guy is using the phrase. The second meaning of the phrase is the phenomenon of creepy, insecure guys who can't get a date because of the messed up way they treat women (usually by pretending they want to be “friends” with women they actually want to sleep with) who ascribe their lack of sexual conquests to their being “too nice”.[5]


See also


  1. Television's afterlife, 22 May 2004
  2. from an interview (pre-2001) in "Science Fiction Weekly"
  3. For examples, see the online Slayage journal, some essays in Fighting the Forces (ed. Wilcox and Lavery), and Reading the Vampire Slayer (ed. Roz Kaveney).
  4. Most Developed Character on Buffy: On Joss Whedon's Wisdom (Accessed Sept. 7, 2010)
  5. I, Whedon on FerretBrain. Posted February 23, 2009. (Accessed September 23, 2010.)
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