Chris Evans & Jeremy Renner Call Black Widow A "Slut" & The Internet's Reactions Are Polar Opposites — UPDATE

UPDATE: On Thursday, Chris Evans issued a statement regarding his comments, apologizing for the incident to Entertainment Weekly. "Yesterday we were asked about the rumors that Black Widow wanted to be in a relationship with both Hawkeye and Captain America. We answered in a very juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize."

Renner also spoke on the incident, remarking, "I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone. It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour."

Captain America and Hawkeye don't have enough superpowers to stop the internet's rage over Avengers actors Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner calling Black Widow a "slut" and "whore." In an interview with Digital Spy, the two stars were asked what they thought about fans 'shipping Natasha with almost everyone in the Marvel universe, and Renner promptly responded, "She's a slut." Evans cackled laughing before adding, "a complete whore." Even though this was in a joking context, it only got worse when the female interviewer prompted, "Whatever movie it is, she'll just be the sidekick, she'll be flirting away." Evans noted she's "flirting with everybody" and "leading everyone on," while Renner added, "She has a prosthetic leg anyway," implying that her disability would make her less desirable.

The original question posed by the Digital Spy reporter was what they thought about fans wanting Natasha to be with everyone, even though she ended up with Bruce Banner (a.k.a. Mark Ruffalo's Hulk). Instead of saying their characters were jealous, Renner jumped to the idea of her sleeping around with everyone, which was a bit of an extreme. There is a great divide in commentary on Twitter right now, with some attacking Renner and Evans for their misogynistic and ableist comments, while others are pointing out that it was all sarcastic and meant to be humorous. See some of the internet's responses below.

Regardless of which side you take, I think this problem could be solved with more female superheroes in the Marvel universe so Black Widow doesn't have to be the only woman to 'ship with a slew of men. With that being said, there are badass women in ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and spin-off Agent Carter and on both Arrow and The Flash on The CW and their relationships aren't the only interesting thing about them. Their strengths — both physically and emotionally — are highlighted, as should the Black Widow's, even if she was the only woman in the Avengers.

The new movie Avengers: Age of Ultron has Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, and Cobie Smulders returning as Maria Hill, which brings some much-needed girl power into the mix. If any of them (or Scarlett Johansson) were in the room with Evans and Renner, maybe their responses would have been different, but that's not the point. Misogynistic language like this shouldn't just be tossed around for fun, no matter if you're with a woman when you say it or not. Watch the full interview below.

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