Here's an interview, a part below:
Alyssa: Human trafficking has become, for lack of a better word, a fairly popular subject for movies and documentaries in the past several years—and combating trafficking was a major priority of the Bush administration. How much did you consider you consider the politics surrounding trafficking when you designed Paul Ballard’s character?
Whedon: Trafficking is the lowest and most appalling crime perpetrated in any country not currently at war. So of course it makes popular fiction. Drugs are passé, murder is solved once a week on half the shows on TV… we always need to get more extreme. And here is a crime with classic foreign villains – with actual mustaches to twirl, desperate young female victims – the morality is genuinely simple and it’s a timeless American story: the captivity narrative. This is not to be callous, but the awful reality has a kind of fictional glamour to it. We can be outraged and moved but never feel it’s too close to home.
The people at Equality Now have been fighting human trafficking and sex tours for years without any real support. In fact, when I pitched Dollhouse to the staff there, one of them objected to the character of Ballard, saying a helpful FBI agent would be an unforgivable myth. For more stories to be told – for altruistic or sensationalist reasons – is to increase awareness and can only, I think, be helpful.
Here's an article saying season 2 looks a lot better, and Dollhouse could become the next great science fiction epic:
The second half of the first season continued to explore these themes. "Needs" showed just how thoroughly the Dollhouse controls its property, answering not only their doll's physical requirements but their emotional ones too. "Haunted" imprinted Echo with the mind of a murdered woman, and the mystery plot was secondary to the melancholy realization that she wasn't quite the benevolent matriarch she thought she was. The season ended with a two-parter that showed the return of Alpha, a doll who went berserk, killed a dozen people with only a kitchen knife, and escaped.
Whedon has said that his series are all about creating family, and his previous work is often about taking premises that lend themselves to loner heroes and adapting them into ensemble casts. Buffy Summers, Angel and Mal Reynolds are saved from their self-destructive tendencies by their relationships with their friends and followers.