Many people were stunned when filmmaker Joss Whedon deleted his Twitter account on Monday. The belief was that Whedon exited the online social networking service because users bombarded him with venomous tweets regarding his use of Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow and various other female characters in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
“That is horses**t,” Whedon told BuzzFeed on Tuesday. “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 sub-section of liberalism is always busy attacking another sub-section 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,” he continued. “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].”
Okay, so if the radical feminists aren't the cause of Whedon's Twitter departure, what is? “I just thought, Wait a minute, if I’m going to start writing again, I have to go to the quiet place,” Whedon explained. “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!”
Whedon wouldn't rule out a return to Twitter, which he referred to as "You Suck Land." Like anyone, Whedon wasn't fond of the barrage of hate messages sent his way, but he was also worried about the stream of compliments he received. “I so appreciate when people took the time to say something nice," he said. "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.”
Whedon found Twitter's overall addictiveness worrisome too. He was spending far too much time checking his feed and not enough on his craft. It got to a point he was no longer experiencing any pleasure from Twitter and that is when he finally realized he needed to make a change. "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.”
Avengers: Age of Ultron is now playing at your local theater.