Joss Whedon isn’t letting the haters get to him. The “Avengers: Age of Ultron” director left Twitter on Monday just after the superhero flick’s opening weekend and some critical reaction, which caused some to think there was controversy behind the move. But the filmmaker says his Twitter departure was merely fueled by his desire to focus on screenwriting.
“I just thought, ‘Wait a minute, if I’m going to start writing again, I have to go to the quiet place,’” Whedon told BuzzFeed. “And this is the least quiet place I’ve ever been in my life.’ … It’s like taking the bar exam at Coachella. It’s like, Um, I really need to concentrate on this!”
Many assumed that his departure had to do with criticism about the portrayal of Black Widow in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Whedon, who has been praised for the portrayal of strong female characters in projects like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly,” has receieved a lot of backlash from Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) fans on Twitter. Without giving away too many spoilers, the character became a love interest and a damsel in distress instead of a superhero in the sequel. And of course, fans on Twitter let Whedon feel their disapproval.
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” actor Patton Oswald even blamed the critics for Whedon’s exit. “There is a ‘Tea Party’ equivalent of progressivism/liberalism. And they just chased Joss Whedon off Twitter. Good job, guys. Ugh,” the actor tweeted. (He removed the post after Whedon’s BuzzFeed interview was posted.)
However, Whedon, 50, is no stranger to criticism and said that he wouldn’t leave social media because of the feminist backlash. “That is horses--t,” he said. “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, who originally joined Twitter to promote his 2012 film “Much Ado About Nothing,” has quit the site before to focus on other films. “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 told Entertainment Weekly in 2013.
Despite the backlash over "Ultron," it's quite a successful film already, earning $191 million in its first weekend in U.S. theaters. Still, Whedon isn’t returning for the next “Avengers” film. His new project is a secret.