Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner apologize for 'tasteless' Black Widow jokes

MANILA, Philippines – Popular Avengers actors Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner have both apologized about comments they made about the character of Black Widow in a recent Digital Spy video interview. 

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,” said Chris Evans, who plays Captain America, in a statement via Entertainment Weekly

Meanwhile, Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye, said this in a statement also via EW: “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.”  

In the interview, the actors were asked about what they thought about the different pairings of Black Widow with Captain America and Black Widow with Hawkeye. In the new movie The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Widow is paired with Bruce Banner (or The Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo). (READ: What critics are saying about 'Avengers: Age of Ultron')

Watch below:  

 

“She’s a slut,” said Jeremy. Chris also followed by joking that the character was “a complete whore.”  

“She has a prosthetic leg anyway,” Jeremy also said. 

“Leading everybody on,” quipped Chris. 

Screengrab from YouTube/Digital Spy

Many fans called out the actors’ jokes on social media. One user wrote in the comments section of the YouTube video: “…A huge portion of their fanbase is women and they just made a sexist joke so casually. It's insulting and hurtful…Not only is it insulting to the women of the fandom, it's insulting to their co-worker and friend.”

Another user said: "These terms should NEVER be used to describe a woman, let alone a woman who is quite literally a heroine to many young girls out there. Her sexuality isn't even referenced in ANY film that she features in - and even if it was then that is HER body, HER choice.”

“Pretty boneheaded moment, but we all make mistakes sometimes. I don't think there was any malicious intent here. So long as they don't make a habit of this,” said another person.  

Other social media users defended the actors, saying that they were clearly joking.  

As the actors embark on their various press tours, The Avengers: Age of Ultron is all set for a successful return – the original 2012 The Avengers became the third-highest grossing movie in cinema history, taking over $1.5 billion at the box office, only beaten by Avatar (2009) and Titanic (1997). (READ: 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Review: A worthy sequel– with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com