'Avengers' Star Mark Ruffalo Says He Finds It Laughable When People Tell Him to Shut Up

Marvel star Mark Ruffalo is responding to criticisms that actors shouldn't speak out politically.

"The president right now is a reality TV star, and I think that artists in general have quite a bit to say about culture and life," Ruffalo said during an appearance on AM to DM by Buzzfeed News.

"The kind of beautiful thing about being an actor is you get to see a lot of different aspects of life, people's lives. You enter them, you get to know them, so in some sense, I think we're actually well-positioned and have quite a lot to share and have a really deep understanding of the world in ways that probably a lot of politicians don't even have."

An outspoken climate change advocate, Ruffalo's Twitter bio dubs the activist as having "an eye on a better, brighter, cleaner, more hopeful future for all of us."

"This is America, part of our democracy is to be able to exchange ideas openly and freely, and I always find it laughable when people tell me to shut up, you know, 'you're just an actor,'" Ruffalo said.

He added: "Actors and artists tend to spend a lot of time working with charities, they spend a lot of time giving their money, their time, theirselves, to a lot of good causes. So we're enough to do that, we're enough to sell watches — you want us to speak up when it's making you money, but you want us to shut up when it challenges certain cultural beliefs or political beliefs that don't align with what we see as a healthy society."

Ruffalo also spoke on the flood of sexual assault and harassment stories that have come out of the entertainment industry since the ousting of disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein in October, saying "we have to make a space inside of our privilege, a safe space for women to speak up."

The actor slammed Weinstein on the Thor: Ragnarok red carpet in October, calling his actions "a sickness."

"Actors are vulnerable," Ruffalo said.

"We want to please people, and we want to break into the business. We all know how hard it is, so we're easy to take advantage of. And so, you know, I hope that this is the beginning of the end of this stuff. I hope the next time a producer or someone in power thinks they're gonna, you know, be abusive, they think twice."

Ruffalo reprises his role as Bruce Banner-slash-Hulk in Avengers: Infinity War, out May 4.

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