Britney Spears Turned Down Joss Whedon's (Sleazy) 'Buffy' Cameo
Newly-liberated megastar Britney Spears isn’t typically known for her thespianism, yet she does have a number of acting roles to her name; from movies like Crossroads to roughly 50,000 Pepsi commercials. She also very nearly appeared in one of the most beloved TV series of all time – but in retrospect she may have dodged a silver bullet.
Back in 2001, Spears was both a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a friend of star Sarah Michelle Gellar, so the show’s creator wrote her a part which turned out to be … the villain’s personal sex robot. Which is a pretty insulting gig to be offered even if you weren’t one of the most famous celebrities on the entire goddamn planet.
According to Whedon, he came up with the idea of a robot character for Spears because “that way if she can’t, we’re fine!” Which seems … extremely condescending? Like A Hard Day’s Night wasn’t written as a story about four sentient department store mannequins just in case The Beatles weren’t quite up to snuff. Plus it’s hard not to retroactively view this as yet another attempt to exploit this literal teenager with what was ultimately a pretty sleazy role. Officially, Spears backed out of the cameo due to “scheduling conflicts” but some have suggested that it was really because she, understandably, wasn’t super-psyched to play, essentially, an animatronic blow-up doll.
And, incidentally, if we needed further proof that this whole “sketchy dudes building robot women to control” plot was actually pretty super-creepy coming from Whedon given recent allegations, the same storyline actually led to one of said allegations. According to costume designer Cynthia Bergstrom, Whedon allegedly physically assaulted her while arguing that the season’s Buffy robot needed to dress “sexier” – a claim Whedon disputes.
And while Britney Spears passed on Buffy, she did get to show off her acting chops the following year in the blockbuster comedy Goldmember playing … a slightly different sexy robot …
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Top Image: Paramount Pictures/20th Television