On Monday, Joss Whedon deleted his Twitter account, sending the internet into a frenzy of speculation over his reason for leaving the social media site behind. Many fans believed that the exodus was due to feminist backlash over the way Black Widow was depicted in Whedon's blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron. Not so, says Whedon.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Whedon decried the notion that feminist extremism drove him from Twitter, saying, “I saw a lot of people say, ‘Well, the social justice warriors destroyed one of their own!’ It’s like, Nope. That didn’t happen.
“That is horses***. Believe me, I have been attacked by militant feminists since I got on Twitter. That’s something I’m used to. Every breed of feminism is attacking every other breed, and every subsection of liberalism is always busy attacking another subsection of liberalism, because god forbid they should all band together and actually fight for the cause."
Whedon went on to explain that his absence from Twitter was actually sparked by a need to recenter himself creatively, saying, “I just thought, 'Wait a minute, if I’m going to start writing again, I have to go to the quiet place. And this is the least quiet place I’ve ever been in my life'."
Whedon also spoke about the relationship between feminists and trolls on Twitter, saying “For someone like Anita Sarkeesian to stay on Twitter and fight back the trolls is a huge statement. It’s a statement of strength and empowerment and perseverance, and it’s to be lauded. For somebody like me to argue with a bunch of people who wanted Clint and Natasha to get together [in the second Avengers film], not so much. For someone like me even to argue about feminism - it’s not a huge win. Because ultimately I’m just a rich, straight, white guy. You don’t really change people’s minds through a tweet. You change it through your actions. The action of Anita being there and going through that and getting through that and women like her - that says a lot.”
Avengers: Age of Ultron opened on May 1 to mostly positive reviews, and secured the second largest opening weekend ever, just behind the first Avengers film.