On Monday, just one day after Avengers: Age of Ultron took in over $187 million at the domestic box office for its opening weekend, director Joss Whedon deactivated his Twitter account, prompting a flurry of speculation as to why he did so. One of the more prevalent rumors was that the director left the social media platform because he was being attacked by "militant feminists" over the portrayal of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers: Age of Ultron. As it turns out, the director revealed that couldn't be further from the truth, since he's grown accustomed to "militant feminists" attacking him.
"That is horseshit. 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. I saw a lot of people say, 'Well, the social justice warriors destroyed one of their own!' It's like, Nope. That didn't happen. I saw someone tweet it's because Feminist Frequency pissed on Avengers 2, which for all I know they may have. But literally the second person to write me to ask if I was OK when I dropped out was [Feminist Frequency founder] Anita [Sarkeesian]."
The filmmaker confirmed that he really left Twitter because he is going to start writing his own material, and to do so, he needs to find a proverbial "quiet place," which meant letting go of Twitter.
"I just thought, Wait a minute, if I'm going to start writing again, I have to go to the quiet place. 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! Guys! Can you all just... I have to... It's super important for my law!"
He added that, while there have been many fans who have said mean things about him and the movie, he is also trying to get away from the dearth of compliments he has been getting, which is not going to help him with his writing, adding that the real issue is himself.
"So many people have said mean things, but so many people have said wonderful things. But how much approbation do I need before I become creepy? I so appreciate when people took the time to say something nice. But for my own self, it's like, at some point, you're just like a little compliment leech. That's not going to help your writing any more than people slamming on you. The real issue is me. Twitter is an addictive little thing, and if it's there, I gotta check it. When you keep doing something after it stops giving you pleasure, that's kind of rock bottom for an addict. I just had a little moment of clarity where I'm like, You know what? If I want to get stuff done, I need to not constantly hit this thing for a news item or a joke or some praise, and then be suddenly sad when there's hate and then hate and then hate."
The director had left Twitter before, after his promotional tour for Much Ado About Nothing, before eventually rejoining. When asked if he would consider coming back to the social media platform at some point in the future, the filmmaker had this to say.
"I'm sure I'd consider it at some point. It's a lot of fun. I had a great time. I think the articles that I found, I can find elsewhere. I'll miss some jokes. Maybe I'll have to go out to a club to see jokes! I think that's already an improvement in my life. ... I need to go out, do the research, turn the page, see the thing, hear the music, live like a person. I'm not great at that. So, oddly enough, because I always feel like I'm the old man who doesn't get the tech, right now I'm the man who thinks he could do better without it."