Jeremy Renner Can’t Stop Calling People “Sluts”

Rex USA
Jeremy Renner’s talk show tour continues — as does the actor’s insistence on calling fictional comic book heroines sluts and not actually being sorry about it. During an interview with Conan O’Brien this week, the Avengers: Age of Ultron star said he got in “Internet trouble” for jokes that he and co-star Chris Evans made about Black Widow last month. (Recap: They called her a “slut” and a “complete whore” during a press junket. Both Renner and Evans issued apologies, but Captain America’s came off considerably more sincere).

“It was a joke. Off-colored. Whatever,” Renner explained to O’Brien about his comments, with no small amount of flippancy. “I’m unapologetic about a lot of things, but I got into a lot of Internet trouble. Because that’s a thing now, you can get in.”

The actor went on to explain that he only called her a slut in the first place because she’s been romantically linked to four male characters in the Marvel Universe — as if that’s legitimate justification.

“Mind you, I was talking about a fictional character and fictional behavior. But, Conan, if you slept with four of the six Avengers, no matter how much fun you had, you’d be a slut. I’d be a slut,” he said.

We could spend all day unpacking everything that is wrong with Renner’s commentary, but in the interest of saving time and stabilizing blood pressure, we’re just going to focus on three major things he’s messing up:

First off, calling a fictional woman a slut is just as bad as saying it to a real live lady. "Slut" is a loaded, derogatory term that implies a set of behaviors that — if displayed by a dude — would get high fives instead of derision.

Second, Black Widow is a total badass. That character is notable for a myriad of empowering qualities qualities that have nothing to do with her romantic status. The fact that Renner keeps focusing on her sexuality, especially in such a negative way, is evidence of underlying gender bias. Does he really need to talk about her being a slut instead of a superheroine? We certainly don’t think so.

Lastly, make no mistake, Mr. Renner. You are not in “Internet trouble;” you are in actual trouble. There is no fourth wall between being called out for blatant sexism online and real life. What was said has repercussions beyond virtual territory, and it's not okay in either space. Get with the program.  In the meantime, we won't hold out breaths waiting for an actual apology. 
Team CoCo
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