Guys, come on.
In an interview with Digital Spy on April 22, Captain America and Hawkeye actors Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner made some tasteless comments about one of their fellow “Avengers” characters.
When asked about rumors that Scarlett Johansson’s “Black Widow” would have two potential love interests in their two characters in the upcoming, “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” their responses were less than classy.
“She’s a slut,” Renner said.
“A complete whore,” Evans followed-up.
The conversation verges into even more sexist territory right after, as you can see in the embedded video.
They’ve both issue public apologies.
Evans’ apology, issued to Entertainment Weekly, reads: “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.”
Renner’s apology kind of sucked: “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.”
Now, I can totally buy that they were just being carelessly tasteless when they made those remarks and that it was a product of stress. Hell, I can even buy that the joke was totally harmless on a personal level, as long as one can assume a good working relationship with their co-star, Johannson. The problem is escalated when it’s taken into account their status and celebrity.
You simply can’t say things like that.
Not only is it entirely offensive. but it propagates casual slut-shaming as “just a joke.’
Is that what you want the kids to think? Because these two actors, whether they appreciate the status or not, are role-models.
Now, while jokes about a character’s copious sex-life have never been foreign to Marvel’s shared screen universe, with Matt Murdock, Daredevil and Tony Stark, Iron Man, both well-established womanizers in comics and on the screen, the jokes have been pretty tame and tasteful.
Also, the words used, “slut” and “whore,” hit a language barrier that I don’t think mainstream superheroes, with an eye towards attracting children viewers or readers, should ever cross.
Obviously these men aren’t superheroes, but as far as the kids are concerned, they’re the closest they’ll ever see to the real thing.
For the solid most part, superheroes have class.
Captain America, very especially, is a classy dude. Hawkeye’s portrayal in the movies has been fairly stoic and reserved, but definitely did not give-off a “casually sexist” vibe.
So with that in mind, Chris, Jeremy, do your best to maintain some dignity in the face of the ridiculous stress I’m sure you’re under, and just remember that to the younger audience, you ARE Captain America and Hawkeye, and you ARE setting an example for some young person, somewhere in the world.
That goes for all of you.