"Avengers: Age of Ultron" stars Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner have issued apologies following online backlash over an interview in which they referred to Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow character as a "slut" and a "whore."
In a video interview with Digital Spy (below), the actors were asked about Black Widow's romantic involvement with Bruce Banner in "Age of Ultron," despite the desire by many fans to see her in a relationship with Captain America or Hawkeye. "She's a slut," Renner immediately replied, with a laughing Evans adding, "I was going to say something along that line. She's a complete whore."
When the interviewer offered that whatever film Black Widow is in, "she'll just be the sidekick, she'll be flirting away," Evans joked, "Just flirt with everybody." Renner then chimed in, rather bafflingly, with, "She has a prosthetic leg anyway."
In a statement sent to USA Today by Evans' representative, the actor said, "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 juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize."
Renner's statement, however, hasn't been as well-received. "I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone," he said through a representative. "It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour."
"Avengers: Age of Ultron" opens May 1 in North America.