‘Buffy’ actor appears at bowling alley amid protests over alleged domestic violence

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"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" actor Nicholas Brendon

Following cancellations by two venues in response to backlash over violence against women, a popular TV actor has made arrangements to appear at a third location Greensboro tonight.

According to a public Nicholas Brendon discussion group on Facebook, the actor will be at an undisclosed local bowling alley.

Brendon, who is best known for playing Xander Harris in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” was initially booked at Geeksboro Battle Pub and then at Boxcar Bar+Arcade when local women voiced concerns on Facebook.

Brendon, now 47, was charged with one count of obstruction of breathing against a girlfriend in 2015, and he faces pending charges in Riverside County, Calif. for violating a protective order against an unnamed girlfriend after he allegedly pulled the victim’s arm and hair during an argument in October 2017.

Mel Umbarger, a local who has frequently hosted trivia at Geeksboro, said she found out about Brendon’s scheduled appearance at the venue on Facebook.

“I’m a huge fan of ‘Buffy’ and I was a little surprised when I found out about the [Geeksboro] event,” Umbarger said. “With everything that’s going on in the world right now, a guy who has this history of abusing women shouldn’t be supported.” Others, mainly women, quickly joined Umbarger in speaking out against the event, which cost $105 per ticket and included a meet-and-greet with the actor.

Joe Scott, the co-owner of Geeksboro Battle Pub, said he simply was not aware of Brendon’s history of violence against women.

Brendon, who has been open about his struggle with drugs and depression, but not his past domestic violence arrests, was looking to book events for his Kicking Depression in the Gutter Balls World Tour, according to his Twitter account.

Scott said he denounces domestic violence. Once he found out about Brendon’s arrests, he said he quickly canceled the event even though several tickets had already been sold. Scott also posted a note on Geeksboro’s website and Facebook page stating that he wanted to “thank the customers who reached out to [him] directly.” The note also mentioned that 5 percent of all of Geeksboro’s sales today will go to Clara House Shelter, which helps victims of domestic violence in Greensboro.

Shortly after Geeksboro canceled their event however, Boxcar Bar+Arcade announced that they would be hosting Brendon instead. An unidentified staff member who responded to Triad City Beat by Facebook did not offer an explanation as to why the venue booked Brendon after the cancellation of the Geeksboro event.

Sammie Kaufman, a regular in the Greensboro nerd scene, quickly messaged Boxcar through Facebook.

“How can you host this guy?” Kaufman said in a message to the staff at Boxcar along with a link to an article describing his offenses. “This incident occurred less than a year ago! That majority of your staff are women and a large percentage of your customers are kids — what does that say to them?”

The staff initially responded to Kaufman over the weekend by attempting to distance themselves from the controversy.

“This individual has booked our private event space for an event that is not associated with Boxcar,” the staff said in the message to Kaufman.

Boxcar eventually relented after receiving a chorus of messages, and canceled the event in consideration of the “concern and safety of valuable customers,” according to a screenshot of a Facebook conversation provided to City Beat by Kaufman.

By late afternoon on Tuesday however, the link for tickets to Brendon’s meet-and-greet was still up and a Facebook event page linking to the Squareup ticketing site suggested that the event is still scheduled to take place Tuesday evening at the undisclosed bowling alley. An administrator for Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows, a Buffy fan page on Facebook said in a private message to City Beat: “The meet-and-greets are strictly for ticket holders only, so only ticket holders know the location. It was at Boxcar, but this has now been changed.”

Attempts to reach Brendon for comment prior to publication were unsuccessful.

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