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.
Really disappointed with Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner re: their comments about Natasha Romanoff. [we were all rooting for you.gif]
— Katie (@katiemblacker) April 22, 2015
tony: *has casual sex with everyone* everyone: *crickets* Nat: *has a few love interests* everyone: LMAO WHORE
— logan stark (@stevebuckytony) April 22, 2015
i know chris and renner meant it as a joke but when they called one of the few strong female mcu characters a whore that's not okay
— stevebucky emma (@PRESERUMPINING) April 22, 2015
Others think the Internet need to lighten up, and that joking about a fictional character is not a big deal
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) April 23, 2015
— Caleb (@CalebH92) April 23, 2015
Why can girls call each other sluts and whores jokingly but the second a guy does it the feminazis come out. Take the stick outta your ass.
— Kim. (@heroicnarry) April 23, 2015
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.