Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans Apologize for “Slut-Shaming” Scarlett Johansson’s Avengers Character Black Widow

Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans
Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans were called out for "slut-shaming" Black Widow and apologized. Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Not so funny after all. Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans took their humor too far in the midst of a press event for their upcoming movie sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron.

The two actors were speaking to British publication Digital Spy when they caused an uproar for their comments about Scarlett Johansson's character Black Widow. The one leading female superhero of the group, who is also known as Natasha Romanoff, was romantically linked to her fellow heroes, including Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Renner) and Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Evans).

"I know a lot of fans were actually pretty invested in the idea of Natasha with actually either or both of you guys… Now, she's with Bruce," a Digital Spy journalist began to the two stars at a junket for the Avengers sequel, naming Mark Ruffalo's character of Bruce Banner aka Hulk. "What do you guys think of that?"

"She's a slut," Renner, 44, shot back quickly, inspiring a huge laugh from Evans. 

Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow. Francois Duhamel/Marvel

"I was gonna say something along that line," Evans, 33, weighed in. "She's a complete whore."

"Trick, man," Renner joked, before Evans chimed in again, "She's a slut… just flirting with everybody… leading everybody on."

The actors' comments inspired a fierce backlash from fans, who spoke out against the stars for "slut-shaming" the character. Many called the words offensive, and specifically targeted Renner's side joke that they should pay no mind to Black Widow's choice of Hulk over their characters as, "she has a prosthetic leg anyway."

"I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone," Renner said in a statement through his rep to Us Weekly on Thursday. "It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour."

"Yesterday we were asked about the rumors that Black Widow wanted to be in a relationship with both Hawkeye and Captain America," Evans said through his rep to Us. "We answered in a juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize."

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