Jeremy Renner Wishes Scarlett Johansson A Happy Mother's Day In The Midst Of Black Widow Controversy
Jeremy Renner and Mother's Day have both recently come under feminist fire, and both issues have converged on Renner's Twitter. Renner and Chris Evans, stars of Avengers: Age of Ultron, joked about Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) being a slut. He's since apologized for the comments, saying, "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." And On May 9, Renner took to Twitter to wish Johansson a happy Mother's Day.
It is Johansson's first Mother's Day as a mother; the actress gave birth to her first child, Rose Dorothy Dauriac, in February of this year. To honor the occasion, and in my opinion, perhaps to make amends to Johansson/Black Widow, Renner posted a picture of himself and Johansson on Twitter. The caption read "Happy FIRST Mother's Day to you! What a beautiful blessing for you and your girl. #sweetscarlet #mothersday." He also posted a sweet tribute to his own mother.
It's interesting that this controversy coincides with a year that has questioned the effects, history, and meaning of Mother's Day. Anna Jarvis founded the holiday in order to honor women, but later criticized its commercialism. I can't help but think, in relation to Renner slut shaming Black Widow and honoring Johansson as a mother within such a short span of time, of the psychoanalytic theory that some men see women as either mothers or whores. Perhaps Renner can respect Johansson as a mother, but it seems to me that when dressed up as a sex symbol, she's the butt of the joke.
Renner's Black Widow comments are not the first time Renner has come under fire for sexist remarks. On his Twitter, Renner seems to have made a recent effort to make amends, tweeting about International Women's Day in a way that to me, felt condescending.
Last Monday on Conan, Renner addressed the Black Widow controversial comments again. This time, he said: "Conan, if you slept with four of the six Avengers — no matter how much fun you had — you’d be a slut. Just saying. I’d be a slut." These comments come after the actor's initial apology.
But regardless of Renner's intentions, at least he took advantage of Mother's Day to wish his co-star a happy day, and to celebrate her new role as a mom. This instance at least, is noteworthy, and worthy of applause.