Marvel fans are up in arms, and it’s for a good reason. Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner were on the promotions tour for Avengers: Age of Ultron when a reporter from Digital Spy asked them about “shipping” within the franchise, or “support of a romantic pairing between two characters in a fictional series,” particularly with Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow character.

“She’s a slut,” Jeremy Renner said immediately, and Evans burst into hysterics.

“I was gonna say something along that line,” he laughed. “She’s a complete whore.” Renner would also scoff at Black Widow’s prosthetic leg, hinting at its undesirability.

Let the fan battle begin.

The Marvel fandom is decidedly split on the issue – some are saying that the comments are harmful in spite of the actors’ joking tone, and in fact because of it.







Others think the Internet need to lighten up, and that joking about a fictional character is not a big deal







No matter which side you land on, the incident is getting the hotly anticipated sequel to the 2012 Avengers film a lot of publicity for all the wrong reasons. Neither Renner nor Evans have come forward to address the issue, and it will be interesting to see if any of the cast or crew, particularly Johansson or outspoken feminist and director Joss Whedon.

Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out on May 1st.

[h/t Buzzfeed]