Twitter often lets us share more than we should about ourselves.
Or, in the case of Hollywood director Joss Whedon, it reveals private thoughts he’d be better off keeping private.
Whedon, who successfully brought Marvel’s “The Avengers” to the big screen, can’t quit Twitter despite threatening to do so every few weeks. And boy, should the Buffy the Vampire Slayer visionary stick to that promise—for his own sake, if not for his fans.
Few Hollywood types are as loathsome as Whedon is on social media. Sure, stars often let loose with unkind jokes, politically partisan slams and the like. Most of us who use Twitter have sent out a Tweet or two we later regret. Others just can’t let go of the ALL CAPS style, a crime in and of itself.
But that pales compared to what Whedon shares on a regular basis. Need proof? Here’s a sample of his toxic tweets, collected over the past few months:
- He wished Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a Republican, to be [expletive] to death by a rhino.
- He predicted President Donald Trump would round up and kill gay Americans
- He mocked the appearance of cancer-stricken teens to strike a wobbly blow against Rep. Ryan and President Trump.
- He compared Ivanka Trump to a breed of dog.
- And, most recently, he weaponized Mother’s Day in a disgusting way to criticize the current administration:
“Today I gratefully give my mother the gift of having been dead for 25 years and not having to see what a tub of f***ery our country’s become.”
Warms the heart, no?
Any one of these tweets would normally spark a media tsunami. All it takes in our sensitive age is one nasty tweet to send sanctimonious reporters scurrying for their laptops. Most stars are forced to apologize if they utter something that doesn’t perfectly align with progressive groupthink.
Remember when Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt apologized for telling Instagram followers to “crank up the volume” on his social media message? Why? Some people though the comment alienated the hard of hearing community. Pratt instantly performed a full grovel as a result.
That’s an air kiss compared to what Whedon shared in any of the above Tweets. Put those Whedon tweets together and you have a devastating portrait of an unhinged star, and yet the media has failed time and again to question Whedon about his statements. There are no reporters scrambling to find Whedon’s press representatives for further comment or reaction. No think pieces on how Hollywood has sunk to new lows in the Age of Trump.
Instead, most media outlets have either ignored the aforementioned hate or played it down, even though The Hollywood Reporter and other outlets rushed to cover the story when Whedon temporarily quit Twitter two years ago.
Even Whedon, on some level, must realize how awful he sounds on social media. At one point shortly after President Trump’s election he send out a note saying he was “broken.” Weeks later he sent out this follow-up tweet to the one he had posted about the cancer victims (and which he only grudgingly took down):
So I tweeted something that inadvertently offended everyone except the people I was trying to offend. I'm sorry. I'll be quiet for a bit.
— Joss Whedon (@joss) April 28, 2017
“So I tweeted something that inadvertently offended everyone except the people I was trying to offend. I’m sorry. I’ll be quiet for a bit.”
He can’t even apologize properly. And his “quiet” time was short-lived.
These Twitter rants wouldn’t matter so much if Whedon was a B-list celebrity trying to land himself a spot on Dancing with the Stars. But Whedon isn’t on the lower rungs of the show business ladder. His Avengers films alone have brought in more than $1 billion from domestic box office sales. He’s beloved in geek circles, and for good reason. He created the one-season cult hit Firefly. For that alone he holds a special place in the collective Comic Con heart. Most recently, his name has been attached to a Batgirl feature.
Few modern directors are household names. Spielberg. Shyamalan. Nolan. Whedon is on that list. Yet not only does his Twitter account reveal his nastiest impulses, the mainstream press is unwilling to hold him accountable for them, even while it constantly pillories figures on the right for similar sins.
But Whedon should reconsider his scorched-earth policy on Twitter. He’s not just tweeting to fellow members of the liberal Hollywood bubble. His fans read his tweets too; and some of us will think twice before lining up to see his next movie because of them.