Jeremy Renner Chris Evans“Avengers: Age of Ultron” won’t be in American theaters until May 1, 2015, but “Avengers: Age of the Offended” can be found any time of the day on Tumblr and Twitter. Aliens and robots may not be able to defeat Hawkeye and Captain America, but professional whiners have shown that they can make Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans apologize for going off script.

Messrs. Evans and Renner made the mistake April 22 of believing that only rational adults would hear their interview with Digital Spy. Prickly men and women who go through life looking for things to “trigger” them made the actors pay for it immediately.

Digital Spy: I know a lot of fans were actually pretty invested in the idea of Natasha with actually either or both of you guys, and now obviously she’s with Bruce. What do you guys make of that?

Renner: She’s a slut.

Chris Evans: **laughing hysterically** I was going to say something along that line. She’s a complete whore.

Renner: What a trick, man!

The jokes show an odd lapse in judgment considering the millions of children who will watch the interview on YouTube. It would make sense for the actors to apologize to parents who weren’t expecting to get slut-bombed while watching promotional interviews with their kids. However, saying sorry to single women for calling a fictional Russian spy a “slut” is just another sad capitulation to online censorship cops.

Jeanne Jeremy Renner Chris EvansNote to the Jeannes of the world: They didn’t call a “woman” a slut — they called a fictional woman a slut. Regardless, Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner both promptly issued a blanket apology:

Chris Evans: 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: 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.

The strange thing about the whole “slut” controversy is that it occurred at the very same moment Scarlett Johansson was telling a women’s magazine about the time Black Widow said she was “whoever you want me to be.”

Mrs. Johansson told Cosmopolitan on April 22:

I think my favorite thing about playing her is the character is you know very kind of slippery — she’s a slippery fish by trade — but in fact she’s very, she’s really honest. I mean she’s, it’s kind of an interesting dichotomy because you have this character who you would expect to be sort of —she says in Cap 2 ‘I’m whoever you want me to be,’ but in truth, when you’re talking to Natasha you’re really getting Natasha. She’s very straightforward and I like that part of her. […] She’s kind of a chameleon but then she’s very much like herself.

Black Widow is a “chameleon” who can be “whoever you want” her to be — unless it’s a “slut.” That is sexist. She must only be a supersmartindependentrolemodel (one word) — even though she’s a Russian spy who probably slept with men while undercover (or was that under covers?).

Scarlett Johansson Mark RuffaloThe one good thing about the apology offered by Messrs. Evans and Renner is that it refers to their comments as “juvenile and offensive.” At no point do the men give credence to accusations that their jokes (about a fictional character) were sexist. The full-time complainers were able to extract an apology from the actors, but it was one that was carefully worded to only apply to those with a legitimate gripe. Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye and Captain America were forced to join common sense in tactical retreat, but war was not totally lost. They’ll live to fight another day when “Avengers: Infinity Offended.”

Exit question: Is there any time that it is permissible for a man to jokingly call a woman (or fictional character) a slut in 2015, or is the word completely off limits to the perpetually-offended crowd?

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

14 comments

  1. Good post. What I find sad about all this political correctness and people wanting to be offended about something is that we cannot relax, we cannot relieve stress, we cannot joke. These guys said they had just come from “an exhausting and tedious press tour.” They needed to lighten up. That is a big part of why we seek entertainment in the first place.

    From a woman’s perspective, what these sexism cops do is actually dangerous. They do no favors to women. You do not really want people bottling up emotion, afraid to relax and joke, walking on eggshells. You want them to vent, to diffuse, to enjoy some good hearted humor.

    1. Stuff like this annoys me because, over the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s history, I don’t believe there has ever been any rumors that Chris Evans or Jeremy Renner were sexist jerks. In fact, it appears as though the cast gets along incredibly well together.

      While I do think it’s a bit odd that (millionaire) Mr. Renner would say in his apology that he is on a tedious press tour, there is validity to it. These guys have been all over the airwaves. They’re doing countless interviews, and most of the time they’re asked the same questions over and over and over again. Each time they’re expected to act just as energetic as the last, and yet … if they go off script with a questionable comment on occasion, then the internet police jumps all over them and demands an apology.

      We say we want people to be authentic, but that isn’t true. We want them to behave exactly how we want them to behave. When they act like themselves, suddenly they need to apologize for offending this group or that group. That’s weird to me. Personally, I don’t think I would have gone with the “slut” joke, but I’m not going to act like an outraged loon because he went there.

      Like you said, it’s better for people to be honest and open than it is to encourage them to hide what they’re really thinking.

  2. I wonder how these same people will react when they hear some of the minor swear words uttered by some of their favorite characters in “Age Of Ultron” ? Heck there is even a sexist joke about the Hulk and Black Widow in the movie.

  3. Remember when Dan Aykroyd called Jane Curtain an “ignorant slut” on SNL all those years ago? People laughed at the time. Jeanne and the other SJWs would flip the hell out. Hmm, one wonders when they will be condemning SlutWalk? 😉

    This reminds me of a story I heard about a promotional advent for HBO’s “Girls.” Judd Apatow admitted that Dunham was repeatedly shown naked in order to get a reaction from the audience. One of the reporters apparently asked a question that suggested a negative reaction, leading to Apatow to cry foul. So, they want a reaction, but only one they approve of?

    Perhaps Jeanne and friends can book some “safe space” with Apatow at the nearest university campus. They better put “trigger warnings” on the doors. You never know whose knuckles might touch the door, not to mention the palms and the knobs.

  4. When we were kids we were pretty much always watching things with the kind of language seen in this video. C’mon, Robocop, Silence of the Lambs, etc, saw them all before I turned 13. Even the most wholesome stuff like, say, Star Trek IV had “double dumbass on you” and someone swiveling the finger.

    1. You watched “Silence of the Lambs” as a little kid? Haha! How long did the nightmares last?

      I saw plenty of action flicks. Stallone and Schwarzenegger were staples. I think I saw “Bloodsport” about 50 times. 🙂

  5. Where are the SJW’s like Slott and Marz now? I guess when it is connected to an industry that signs their paychecks they don’t care.

    1. If Jeremy Renner said he was a Republican tomorrow, then Ron Marz would suddenly find his voice on the Black Widow “slut” joke. He would go full faux-outrage. 😉

  6. The perpetually offended SJWs are out of control. They really need to get a life and relax a bit. Develop a thicker skin. Quit whining about things that don’t matter. If they don’t like something, don’t watch it. I cannot fathom how anyone can go about their lives constantly on the prowl for something to b*** about.

    I imagine that if Dan Aykroyd had made the “Jane, you ignorant slut” today, NBC would force him to attend sensitivity training because a bunch of humorless SJW loons on Twitter would claim it made them feel “unsafe.”

  7. Oh, it just occurred to me. Scarlett Johansson has been supportive of Israel over the last year or so. I recall quite a few tweets condemning her for daring to represent SodaStream; some even using the word “tw*t.”

    Curiously enough, I don’t recall the SJWs rallying to her defense or bemoaning “the War on Women.” SJWs are the type who take more of an issue with a joke directed at a fictional character than insults directed at a person who doesn’t tow the line. Typical.

  8. It’s interesting the contradiction inherent in the idea that calling a specific woman a slut is “sexist.” The implication seems to be that if you think one woman is a slut — i.e. you believe that a category defined as “sluts” exists and is identifiable — you therefore hate or look down on women in general. The only way to get from A to B there is to assume that there is no difference between, say, a prostitute (or woman who has sex with men for work) and a virgin bride. Basically it’s necessary to denigrate the non-slutty women so as to imply that any judgment against sluts is automatically insulting to all women. It’s unfortunate that good, non-slutty women don’t seem to pick up on the insult in this, where the slutty women are using the virtue of the good women to suggest that somehow suggesting that a woman could be a slut is an insult to women who aren’t sluts.

    Some standup comic said once that this is akin to all men being offended if you called a particular man a wife-beater. Whether he is or not, calling him that doesn’t imply anything about men in general, and thus there’s no grounds for other men being offended over it.

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