Joss Whedon quits Twitter post-’Ultron’: is it because of criticism of Black Widow?

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The Avengers: Age of Ultron made crazy money on its opening weekend, which surprised no one. Even with the frankly messy and offensive implosion of many of the Avenger actors during the publicity tour, the film was always going to make a ton of money. But some of backlash surprised even me. I kept reading, on site after site, that Marvel wasn’t pushing any Black Widow merchandise. You want an Ironman action figure? Sure. You want Thor? Sure. But Black Widow – the only female Avenger – doesn’t have any merchandise. Once people actually saw the film, there was also a lot of criticism about Black Widow’s characterization throughout the film, that she’s ornamental, that she’s there to serve the men, etc.

Who should be blamed for all of this? I’d blame Kevin Feige and the rest of the Marvel executives before I’d even get to blaming writer/director Joss Whedon. But Whedon has ended up taking a lot of the blame, especially online. Apparently, people were yelling at him on Twitter all weekend and then on Monday, he decided to just delete his Twitter.

Joss Whedon and Twitter have broken up, everybody. But it’s going to be okay. These things happen, and it’s not because of something you did. The Avengers: Age of Ultron filmmaker and this particular form social media just decided they would be happier apart, and it doesn’t mean Whedon or Twitter love you any less.

The conscious uncoupling happened at some point on Monday, following the $191.3 million opening weekend of Age of Ultron, which collected the second-highest grossing three-day debut in history. (After only the $207 million opening of Whedon’s original Avengers in 2012.)

UPDATE: Whedon’s departure did create a wave of speculation on Twitter that he closed his account because of “death threats.” A search of tweets directed at him over the past week definitely turned up some deep ugliness, with some of the abusive users urging him to “die” or “commit suicide” over plot points they didn’t like in the movie. Although these comments are clearly disturbing, there was no unifying complaint or groundswell of attack beyond just the random (but all-too-typical) viciousness of anonymous social media trolls.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

The Daily Beast believes – I think correctly – that Whedon hated the fact that so many fans were blaming him for the way Black Widow was handled specifically, and how Marvel didn’t seem to want to put any money in marketing their films to girls. And let’s be fair to Whedon – I really think Age of Ultron got away from him. As in, Marvel corporate took away some of Whedon’s control, and they didn’t listen to him when he was like “we need to do more with Black Widow” and “you guys, this is such a sausage party” and “where’s the Black Widow merch?”

Also – the AV Club had a great write-up about all of the in-fighting between Whedon and Marvel corporate about certain scenes and storylines in Age of Ultron. Go here to read. My takeaway? Whedon just needs a break. That’s why he deleted his Twitter. He just wanted some peace and quiet without all of the Marvel insanity.

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‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’: what did you think? (spoilers)

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Avengers: Age of Ultron arrived as one of this weekend’s big events (other than the royal baby) with the most character-packed Marvel installment yet. Around 800 actors filled the movie, yet it still managed to overflow with CGI effects. The movie shall easily be Marvel’s biggest moneymaker yet. Before this weekend, the film earned $201 million overseas. In North America, the film pulled in around $84 million on Friday, and the comic nerds will probably make multiple visits throughout the weekend. I imagine it will hit well over $200,000 total for the weekend.

As a whole, I didn’t enjoy this film as much as The Avengers, but it was a strong entry and pushed several individual storylines into progression. I still dug this movie a lot, although the opening fight scene was so relentlessly action-packed that I feared Marvel would deliver a hollow cartoon. Luckily, Age of Ultron was peppered with moments of humor, humanity, and character development. Here are my thoughts on several of the storylines:

* Black Widow and Hulk’s romance didn’t feel shoehorned into the film at all. Their attraction, mutual respect, and respective vulnerabilities felt very organic. In the context of how the Marvel films portray the MCU, this relationship makes a lot of sense. And no, Black Widow wasn’t wh*ring around in any sense of the word.

* Tony Stark still drives me insane. He’s the douche Avenger. Ultron is an annoying, smug extension of Tony’s megalomaniacal personality. Stark couldn’t help himself from messing with artificial intelligence. Unlike the other characters, Stark’s insufferable persona overwhelms his Iron Man alter ego. I was glad to see him depart at the end, but we’ll see him again in Cap 3: Civil War.

* Captain America and his Boy Scout image mostly served as a punchline in this film, which is fine. Joss Whedon always writes worse dialogue for Cap than what he receives in his standalone movies. Cap will get his due again. Thor and his gregarious, Asgardian manner of speaking were also nice comic relief.

* Hawkeye got his backstory and the homelife that Cap has always wanted. The surprise of seeing Hawkeye’s civilian family lent a nice respite from the movie’s otherwise frenetic pace. The various characters’ interactions with the children and down-home country life were very reflective of their personalities.

* The Twins (“He’s fast, and she’s weird”) were a lovely addition, especially Scarlet Witch. They were orphans in search of a family, and in the end, only one made it out alive. Poor Quicksilver went out for a greater cause. Scarlet Witch held her own amongst the group, and Hawkeye’s recruitment speech was pretty awesome.

* Vision was … a vision to behold. Paul Bettany delivered a fantastic, enigmatic performance (worth of Thor’s hammer). I especially liked the part where he was mesmerized by his own reflection.

* The film contained a zillion cameos from various MCU characters. Jane and Pepper Potts received shoutouts, but we saw many other characters. Nick Fury, Agent Carter, Maria Hill, Falcon, Heimdall, Professor Selvig, and others enjoyed appearances. No Loki and no Bucky Barnes. I was okay with no Loki because his presence is so huge (sorry, Dragonflies!), and this movie was already jam-packed. Bucky (by nature) is supposed to be “in the wind,” so we’ll see him next in Cap 3.

* The New Avengers team assembled at the end. War Machine, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, and Vision joined up with Cap and Black Widow to keep on avenging. This changing of the guard will switch things up nicely, and some people see this new team as Marvel’s overdue nod to their ongoing diversity problem.

* The mid-credits scene carried vast implications in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thanos (the mad titan) grabs an Infinity Gauntlet and vows to collect the stones. This is a different gauntlet than the one that Thor’s father, Odin, possesses … so now we know that more than one gauntlet exists in the MCU. *Cue soap opera stare face*

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Tom Hiddleston wrote a gushing, overexcited fan-boy letter to Joss Whedon

Tom Hiddleston wrote a gushing, overexcited fan-boy letter to Joss Whedon

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Tom Hiddleston made an appearance at Comic-Con. Sort of. He wasn’t actually, physically in San Diego (OR WAS HE? No, he wasn’t). But Tommy did crop up in some “special” footage from Guillermo del Toro’s first look at Crimson Peak at Comic Con. Del Toro promised that he would bring Hiddles and the rest of the cast to Comic-Con next year, because Crimson Peak is still 18 months away from a release date. Del Toro also had nice things to say about the cast of CP, including this about Lord Dragonfly: “I must tell you girls, Tom Hiddleston is the nicest f–king guy on earth. It used to be in the past that you were either nice, or you were good-looking and an a–hole. Now that barrier is ruined.” So, there you have it.

But still, you want more evidence that Tommy is the adorable, kissable, puppy-like, swan-sonneting dork-lord of your dreams? Well, then I have got something for you. According to a new biography of Joss Whedon, when Whedon stepped in to do a decent draft of The Avengers, Tommy wrote him a lovely email/letter telling Joss how brilliant and fantastic he is. Here is the letter:

Joss,

I am so excited I can hardly speak.

The first time I read it I grabbed at it like Charlie Bucket snatching for a golden ticket somewhere behind the chocolate in the wrapper of a Wonka Bar. I didn’t know where to start. Like a classic actor I jumped in looking for LOKI on every page, jumping back and forth, reading words in no particular order, utterances imprinting themselves like flash-cuts of newspaper headlines in my mind: “real menace”; “field of obeisance”; “discontented, nothing is enough”; “his smile is nothing but a glimpse of his skull”; “Puny god” …

… Thank you for writing me my Hans Gruber. But a Hans Gruber with super-magic powers. As played by James Mason … It’s high operatic villainy alongside detached throwaway tongue-in-cheek; plus the “real menace” and his closely guarded suitcase of pain. It’s grand and epic and majestic and poetic and lyrical and wicked and rich and badass and might possibly be the most gloriously fun part I’ve ever stared down the barrel of playing. It is just so juicy.

I love how throughout you continue to put Loki on some kind of pedestal of regal magnificence and then consistently tear him down. He gets battered, punched, blasted, side-swiped, roared at, sent tumbling on his back, and every time he gets back up smiling, wickedly, never for a second losing his eloquence, style, wit, self-aggrandisement or grandeur, and you never send him up or deny him his real intelligence…. That he loves to make an entrance; that he has a taste for the grand gesture, the big speech, the spectacle. I might be biased, but I do feel as though you have written me the coolest part.

… But really I’m just sending you a transatlantic shout-out and first-bump, things that traditionally British actors probably don’t do. It’s epic.

[Via Business Insider]

Joss wrote him back, of course, and you can see Joss’s kind respond here. I’m debating with myself whether I think Hiddles is a giant dork for this. When I first read the letter a few days ago, my immediate reaction was CRINGE. It’s just so ass-kissy and overly obsequious. I waited a while and re-read it. And my reaction was different the second time around. I think it’s mostly a nice letter, gushing and complimentary and it’s just the kind of letter one fan-boy would send another fan-boy. So, fair enough. Hiddles is just so EXTRA though. Sigh…

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Photos courtesy of Pacific Coast News, Getty, WENN.

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Special thanks Cele Bitch

Emma Watson’s Magical Graduation Selfie

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Photo: twitter.com/EmWatson

Hermione really is the smartest witch that ever was. Proof: Emma Watson graduated from Brown and tweeted a celebratory selfie.

Christina Ricci‘s rep confirmed she’s expecting her first child, just in case this photo didn’t already convince you.

James Franco posted (and then quickly deleted) another gross selfie, but the internet forgets nothing!

Sofia Vergara has split from creepy fiance Nick Loeb yet again. Let’s hope this time sticks.

-This has been a damn great week for TV (The AmericansHannibal, LouisOrphan Black) but last night’s Mad Men may have just topped them all.

Charlize Theron thinks gluten-free diets “are bullshit,” which makes me love her.

-The New York Post’s report of Kimye’s wedding is hilariously bitchy.

-Meanwhile, Lena Dunham joked about missing the wedding — and then had to explain that she wasn’t actually invited because the internet doesn’t understand sarcasm.

Joss Whedon is clearly standing in Edgar Wright‘s corner following the Ant Man blowup, judging by his Cornetto response.

-Speaking of departures that are leaving fanboys (and girls) in tears, Drew Goddard has left Netflix’s Daredevil.

-Arcade Fire’s Win Butler has responded to the criticism surrounding their new video, which features Andrew Garfield in drag.

Casey Wilson got married this weekend and all of her Happy Endings costars attended, which makes me so very happy.

-House alum Lisa Edelstein also tied the knot this weekend.

-Vulture picked the Top 10 SNL sketches from this season. I wish they included Josh Hutcherson’s Josie song (which might have made me laugh more than any else on SNL in years), Tina Fey’s Girls parody, and Lena Dunham’s Scandal spoof. Kerry’s Washington‘s “What Does My Girl Say?” was great too, but it probably doesn’t age as well.

Emmy Rossum and Michael Buble became plane buddies on a recent flight.

-Speaking of unlikely pairs, watch Jonah Hill and Julie Andrews plan their future honeymoon in this adorable clip from The Graham Norton Show.

-Finally: a positive story about Justin Bieber. He made his time spent in Cannes a little more acceptable by donating $545k to charity.

-Slightly less positive news: he’s set to appear on So You Think You Can Dance.

-I really liked the new X-Men movie, but my first thought when it ended was “did that just negate the movies that came before it?” EW does a deep dive into the ramifications.

Patrick Stewart on the advice he’d give his 20-year-old self: “Oh, that’s so easy. I would say, “Patrick, cheer the f— up!’”

-I could watch Seth Rogen and Snoop recap Game of Thrones every week. It’s almost as good as the Gay of Thrones recaps.

-When David O. Russell texts Jennifer Lawrence at  4 in the morning offering her film roles, she says yes.

Norm Macdonald has been campaigning hard to replace Craig Ferguson on the Late Late Show, and last night he showcased all his skills in a one-minute audition on Conan.

-Another day, another shot of Rachel Bilson baring her baby bump in Barbados.

-Meanwhile, her Hart of Dixie costar Jaime King says the actress has been wanting a baby “badly” for quite some time.

Jim Carrey is the latest star to get in on the commencement speech action.

Keira Knightley looks lovely on the new cover of Beach, where she talks about making peace with her career choices.

Denzel Washington takes on the Russian mob in the new trailer for The Equalizer.

-Every clip and trailer for 22 Jump Street makes me LOL like a crazy person. I’m going to be really annoying at the theatre…

The post Emma Watson’s Magical Graduation Selfie appeared first on Scandal Sheet.

Source: Scandal Sheet

Joss Whedon Perfectly Explains Feminism

Joss Whedon Perfectly Explains Feminism

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Joss Whedon perfectly explained feminism at Equality Now’s “Make Equality Reality” event. A lot of our readers here at Evil Beet call us feminists like it’s a bad thing. I think we all have different definitions of what it is. I can’t explain it better than what Joss Whedon said. I’ll post the video, but here’s the transcript, via E Online. Yeah, it’s long, look for the TL;DR at the bottom:

“Ist” in it’s meaning is also a problem for me. Because you can’t be born an “ist”. It’s not natural… So feminist includes the idea that believing men and women to be equal, believing all people to be people, is not a natural state. That we don’t emerge assuming that everybody in the human race is a human, that the idea of equality is just an idea that’s imposed on us. That we are indoctrinated with it, that it’s an agenda…

…My problem with feminist is not the word. It’s the question. “Are you now, or have you ever been, a feminist?” The great Katy Perry once said—I’m paraphrasing—”I’m not a feminist but I like it when women are strong.”…Don’t know why she feels the need to say the first part, but listening to the word and thinking about it, I realize I do understand. This question that lies before us is one that should lie behind us. The word is problematic for me because there’s another word that we’re missing…
…When you say racist, you are saying that is a negative thing. That is a line that we have crossed. Anything on the side of that line is shameful, is on the wrong side of history. And that is a line that we have crossed in terms of gender but we don’t have the word for it…

…I start thinking about the fact that we have this word when we’re thinking about race that says we have evolved beyond something and we don’t really have this word for gender. Now you could argue sexism, but I’d say that’s a little specific. People feel removed from sexism. ‘I’m not a sexist, but I’m not a feminist.’ They think there’s this fuzzy middle ground. There’s no fuzzy middle ground. You either believe that women are people or you don’t. It’s that simple…

…Genderist. I would like this word to become the new racist. I would like a word that says there was a shameful past before we realized that all people were created equal. And we are past that. And every evolved human being who is intelligent and educated and compassionate and to say I don’t believe that is unacceptable. And Katy Perry won’t say, “I’m not a feminist but I like strong women,” she’ll say, “I’m not a genderist but sometimes I like to dress up pretty.” And that’ll be fine.
This is how we understand society. The word racism didn’t end racism, it contextualized it in a way that we still haven’t done with this issue. Does that mean that this will end the problem? Yes, definitely, we’ve done it.

TL;DR: feminist is not a bad word, calm down.

I wonder if Katy Perry will respond…

Meanwhile I still think Selena Gomez has no idea what the word “feminist” means.

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