One year—and one high-profile Twitter departure—after directing Avengers: Age Of Ultron, writer-director Joss Whedon has gone on the record about one of the film’s more controversial scenes. Said conversation is the one in which Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow opens up to love interest Bruce Banner, describing her sterilization at the hands of the people who transformed her into an assassin, and declaring herself a “monster.”
That line drew a lot of attention after the film’s release, with many critics expressing outrage that the film’s script might be linking Natasha’s infertility to her perception of herself as inhuman. But Whedon discounted that claim during a Tumblr “Answer Time” post this week—part of his recent, election-themed burst of social media resurgence—asserting that the “monster” line was much more about the character’s actions than her biological status: “She said she was a monster because she was an assassin,” he wrote. “Being rendered infertile made her feel unnatural, made her feel cut off from the natural world. But it was her actions that defined her. Her murdery actions. That’s what ‘monster’ meant.” (Kudos to Whedon for channeling Buffy Summers while penning his response.)
Whedon quit Twitter just days after Ultron’s release, saying that he needed to retreat from the social media hubbub in order to write. He returned to the spotlight just a few weeks ago, making a star-powered push for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.