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Sarah Michelle Gellar on why she'll never tell her 'Buffy' era story: 'Nobody wins. Everybody loses.'

Sarah Michelle Gellar knows we'll always remember Buffy, but she's done talking about the controversy.

By Matthew Jackson
Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar will always be Buffy Summers. As the iconic genre actress makes a return this year with the new series Wolf Pack, she's well aware that doing another supernatural series will draw comparisons to the one that made her a star more than 25 years ago. It's a connection that's made her reflect on the legacy of Buffy, and explain why she's done talking about the on-set drama that's been such a topic of conversation over the last few years.

In the 2020s, a cloud has fallen over the legacy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the form of allegations of toxic, abusive behavior by its creator, Joss Whedon, once heralded as not just one of genre's greatest creators but also one of its most progressive and feminist. In 2021, Gellar publicly commented on the allegations for the first time, in support of co-stars like Charisma Carpenter who'd been outspoken about Whedon's behavior, by now-famously saying: “While I am proud to have my name associated with Buffy Summers, I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon.”

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In the two years since, Gellar has remained largely quiet on the subject of Buffy, offering support to her co-stars and friends but rarely speaking on the subject herself. Late last year, while talking about the importance of her work on Wolf Pack as a producer as well as a star, Gellar referenced an "extremely toxic male set" that she used to work on, and everyone immediately drew the line to Buffy once again, but that remark and the previous comment on Whedon make up the sum total of her direct comments about the controversy. 

So, why is Gellar comfortable not saying more about the drama surrounding Buffy? In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter to promote Wolf Pack, she offered a very straightforward explanation. 

“I’ve come to a good place with it, where it’s easier to talk about,” she said, then added: “I’ll never tell my full story because I don’t get anything out of it. I’ve said all I’m going to say because nobody wins. Everybody loses.”

Whatever Gellar decides to say or not say about her time on Buffy, it's clear at this point that the show has become a rough patch for many fans who once adored it, something longtime viewers have more trouble revisiting, and potential new fans have trouble embracing. Time will tell how long that lasts, but for Gellar, there's still plenty about Buffy to love. 

“I’m not the only person facing this, and I hope the legacy hasn’t changed,” she said. “I hope that it gives the success back to the people that put in all of the work. I will always be proud of Buffy. I will always be proud of what my castmates did, what I did. Was it an ideal working situation? Absolutely not. But it’s OK to love Buffy for what we created because I think it’s pretty spectacular.”

Wolf Pack premieres Jan. 26 on Paramount+. 

Looking for more werewolf drama? Check out Peacock's hit series Wolf Like Me. Want something with a bit more (vampiric) bite? Chomp into SYFY's Reginald the Vampire. Just looking for some ghostly thrills? SYFY's SurrealEstate is always a creepy option.