Saturday 17 March 2018

Mark Ruffalo defends Joss Whedon in the wake of feminist backlash

Mark Ruffalo and Joss Whedon
Mark Ruffalo and Joss Whedon

Avengers: Age of Ultron star Mark Ruffalo has defended director Joss Whedon in the wake of feminist backlash regarding the portrayal of female character Black Widow in the movie.

Ruffalo, who plays Hulk, addressed the issue during a Reddit AMA on Wednesday and said Whedon is "a deeply committed feminist".

Whedon quit Twitter on Monday prompting speculation his departure was in response to the criticism he was fielding on the social network.

However, he yesterday announced it was simply to do with wanting more time and space to write and work. Even so, Ruffalo voiced his support for the director in a lengthy response on Reddit.

Here's his response in full:

"I think it's sad. Because I know how Joss feels about women, and I know that he's made it a point to create strong female characters. I think part of the problem is that people are frustrated that they want to see more women, doing more things, in superhero movies, and because we don't have as many women as we should yet, they're very, very sensitive to every single storyline that comes up right now. But I think what's beautiful about what Joss did with Black Widow - I don't think he makes her any weaker, he just brings this idea of love to a superhero, and I think that's beautiful.

If anything, Black Widow is much stronger than Banner. She protects him. She does her job, and basically they begin to have a relationship as friends, and I think it's a misplaced anger. I think that what people might really be upset about is the fact that we need more superhuman women. The guys can do anything, they can have love affairs, they can be weak or strong and nobody raises an eyebrow. But when we do that with a woman, because there are so few storylines for women, we become hyper-critical of every single move that we make because there's not much else to compare it to.

So I know Joss really well. I know what his values are. And I think it's sad, because in a lot of ways, there haven't been as many champions in this universe as Joss is and will continue to be. And I know it hurts him. I know it's heavy on him. And the guy's one of the sweetest, best guys, and I know him - as far as any man can be a champion for women, he is that.

So it's been a little disheartening.

But I also see how much people love that aspect of it. There's an equal amount of people who find the love interest between Banner and Black Widow to be a big standout. And it's very satisfying to people. So it's a movie. People are going to have their opinions. And that's actually a great thing. The fact that this is a debate that's coming out of this movie is probably a positive thing.

I just don't think that people should get personal with Joss, because he really is - of anyone - an advocate for women. He's a deeply committed feminist."

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