Those who follow him may have noticed today that Joss Whedon deleted his Twitter account after being bombarded with harassment over a couple of the dumbest things anyone has ever heard about.
Whedon, the guy who has done more for female characters in genre TV than almost anyone in television, was chased off Twitter by a rabid mob of mouth-breathers calling him a misogynistic pig, rape-monger, and racist…among other crazy statements and threats. All stemming from how he apparently “wronged” Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron and a joke Tony Stark makes. I have no idea where the racist comments come from as those make no sense at all.
Where did this all start? The Black Widow bit seems to have likely sprung out of Tumblr and then moved on to these psychopaths in their echo chamber of Twitter feeds, where I doubt 99% of them even watched the movie or even know what they were harassing Whedon over. Some crazy they follow told them to attack him because he was a misogynistic pig, and they followed suit.
The Natasha complaint seem to rise from Whedon having Black Widow kidnapped by Ultron, thus “damselling” her. While it’s perfectly OK for Tony Stark to be kidnapped in just about every Iron Man movie, Cap to be captured by Hydra in Captain America, and Hawkeye to be mind-controlled in the first Avengers, figuring out a way to explain Natasha’s absence due to her real-life pregnancy immediately made Whedon a misogynist. The Black Widow kidnapping was NOT in the original script, but when Johansson became pregnant they had to modify the story slightly to explain why she disappeared for a chunk of the movie. But try to explain that to these people and you get dogpiled with harassment.
As for the “rape joke” complaints, those can be traced by to a click-bait article on click-bat site Buzzfeed (no, I won’t link to their stupidity) that filled the story with Tumblr-friendly animated GIFs to get people pissed at Tony Stark’s â€œPrima noctaâ€ quip. I’m sorry idiots, but for the character…that fits. Tony Stark is the type of womanizing billionaire playboy that would make even Bruce Wayne say, “Dude…” and Asgard is a bizarre space feudal society where there’s a king and people live for 5,000 years. That is exactly the sort of asshole comment a slightly buzzed Tony Stark would make facing the possibility of becoming a king of a place.
Again, I have no idea where the racist attacks are coming from as it’s impossible to get any of these rabid fools to explain themselves through their flurry of disgusting harassment on social media.
Comedian Patton Oswalt commented on the issue with this Tweet:
There were some people actually trying to say this wasn’t due harassment and that it was just a publicity thing surrounding the end of his Marvel work, but the Oswalt tweet confirms it was about the harassment. You can actually view a collection of the Tweets via this Storify link, but I should warn you it’ll likely cause your brain to melt and wish Ultron actually did wipe out all life on the planet.