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Amber Benson Reveals the Real Reasons Tara Never Returned to Buffy

Amber Benson Reveals the Real Reasons Tara Never Returned to ‘Buffy'

Amber Benson Reveals the Real Reasons Tara Never Returned to ‘Buffy'

Tara's death devastated LGBTQ+ fans.

rachelkiley

Tara’s unexpected death in Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a devastating moment for LGBTQ+ fans of the popular show back when the episode first aired in 2002. Not just because people loved the character, played by Amber Benson for three seasons, but because it signaled the tragic end of one of the only queer relationships on television at the time.

The circumstances surrounding Benson’s departure, the impact it had, and how it went on to shape TV have been discussed endlessly for years, but the actress recently got more candid about why she never returned.

In an interview for Into Every Generation a Slayer is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts, Benson spoke for the first time about some on set issues that factored into her refusal to come back for the series finale, as creator Joss Whedon had wanted.

“I had had some issues with somebody on the show, and it had kind of come to a head as I was getting ready to leave,” she said. “Leaving the show was sad because there are some of the crew and the writers and some of the cast that I just adore, but I had made peace with that person and the show and I was done.”

Benson also admitted she had concerns about what Tara’s story would be if she did return for an episode, as she said other cast members had been in situations where they agreed to return under certain story conditions that Whedon ultimately backtracked on.

“I didn’t really trust what was going to happen to the character,” she said. “And I felt like people had already been really hurt by this. And I’m not the writer. I can’t decide what’s going to happen to this character. I don’t have the reins.”

Despite that — and the accusations that have come out in recent years about Whedon’s sets being toxic, at best — Benson says she truly believes Whedon didn’t intend to harm the LGBTQ+ community with Tara’s death.

“He just wasn’t thinking,” she said. And in a way, that almost makes things worse.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.