A Digital Spy UK interview with Avengers: Age of Ultron stars Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans has sparked controversy because the actors called Scarlett Johansson’s character Natasha Romanoff—aka spy/assassin/agent “the Black Widow” in the Marvel universe—a “slut” and a “complete whore” when the interviewer asked what they thought of fans’ expectation that she’d end up with one of them.
Some fans have called the remarks sexist, while others maintain they were just being sarcastic. A glimpse of the Twitter reactions:
I feel like the Jeremy Renner Chris Evans thing is like a cast in joke they shouldn't have said in public
— maddy (@maddydell) April 23, 2015
The Chris Evans/Jeremy Renner joke about Natasha being a whore and just a flirty sidekick made me cringe. Gross.
— Karena Fagan 💖💜💙 (@KarenaFagan) April 23, 2015
2 men calling a woman a slut and whore is sexist. Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans made a sexist joke. Intent does not erase impact!
— Big Ol’ Queer Fangirl Jeanne (@fangirlJeanne) April 23, 2015
people don't take female superheros seriously because stars like chris evans and jeremy renner refer to black widow as a slut and a whore...
— MH (@meagcity) April 23, 2015
here is my opinion on the chris evans/jeremy renner interview: all your white male faves will betray you eventually, nothing good can last
— chaka khan’s air guitar (@helenin) April 22, 2015
So apparently Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans are problematic misogynists because tumblr doesn't know what sarcasm is
— lilneddy (@lil_neddy) April 22, 2015
Chris Evans apologized for the remarks in a statement: “Yesterday we were asked about the rumors that Black Widow wanted to be in a relationship with both Hawkeye and Captain America. We answered in a very juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize.”
Jeremy Renner also released a statement: “I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone. It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour.”