Following a $US191 million opening weekend for his “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” director Joss Whedon, an outspoken personality, decided to quit Twitter Monday morning.
Some are speculating that it had to do with a high volume of death threats and hate from commentators, though Whedon did not confirm why he chose to flee the social media platform.
ScreenCrush was able to capture his final message to fans before he deleted his account:
While Whedon gave no official reason for why he deactivated his account, some suspect it has to do with the amount of violent threats Whedon received over the film. (WARNING: Strong language in some of the tweets.)
no but did you guys noticed the rape joke in aou i’ll fucking kill joss whedon
— fiamma murdock (@WANDAXVISION) May 3, 2015
i can’t wait to punch @josswhedon in the face, bye bye arsehole!!!!
— isabel (@robertdadniro) May 2, 2015
The backlash toward Whedon appeared to stem from infuriation at the portrayal of Black Widow, the main female character played by Scarlett Johansson in “Age of Ultron.” In the film, a big chunk of her storyline revolves around a budding relationship with Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
For those keeping up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was a bit of an eyebrow raise since many believed Black Widow was being pushed toward a romance with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) or even Captain America (Chris Evans).
Anyone seeing “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will tell you Black Widow’s role wasn’t confined solely to that of a romanticizing female, but many still took issue with her portrayal.
Anytime you see Joss Whedon lauded as a feminist filmmaker you have to realise the curve he’s being graded on is so low it’s subterranean.
— Ultron Swanson (@Notintheface1) May 5, 2015
joss whedon: im a feministjoss whedon: sexualises black widow, characterises her as the love interest, makes a rape jokeeveryone: …..
— laura, (@woahsherlock) May 4, 2015
I WILL FIGHT JOSS WHEDON OVER THE TERRIBLE CHARACTERIZATION OF BLACK WIDOW SERIOUSLY IM SO
— justine (@criiticalveins) May 2, 2015
For all of his feminist posturing I expected Joss Whedon to utilise Black Widow better. Why’s she the only one that ever needs to be saved?
— Russell Falcon (@RussellFalcon) May 1, 2015
Others didn’t quite know how to feel:
There definitely were some issues with how Black Widow was handled in Age Of Ultron but the backlash against Joss Whedon has been ridiculous
— Sam (@TrueZero_) May 5, 2015
For fans of Whedon, who has long been known for depicting strong women, the focus on an unnecessary romantic relationship was a bit of an odd departure, especially since the director recently criticised a “Jurassic World” clip for being “sexist” on Twitter.
Whedon later apologised and said that criticising another movie on such a public forum was “bad form.”
Fans aren’t the only ones who have been commenting on and criticising Marvel’s depiction of superheroines.
The “Age of Ultron” backlash towards Whedon comes on the heels of Jeremy Renner, who plays the Avenger Hawkeye in the franchise, referring to Black Widow’s character as a “slut” in two interviews.
This past weekend’s SNL also mocked Marvel sexism in a faux ad for the film featuring Scarlett Johansson herself.
This isn’t the first time Whedon quit Twitter. He previously left the social platform in 2013.
According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Whedon only joined Twitter at the time to help promote his 2012 indie film “Much Ado about Nothing.”
“The moment I joined, oh my God, what a responsibility, this is enormous work — very fun, but it really started to take up a huge amount of my head space,” he said.
“I’m making a movie, I got a responsibility, this job doesn’t pay very well. It’s a fascinating medium, it’s a fascinating social phenomenon. People are like, ‘It’s like a drug.’
“Yeah, and it’s like a job. It’s just another art form. Until I have a script I truly believe in or a tweet that’s really remarkable, I can just walk away and get back to the storytelling I need to do.”
NOW WATCH: Disney just dropped another ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer — and it’s the best one yet
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.