Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Whedon Cites New Project As Reason He Quit Twitter

Sadly, we must revoke, or at least substantially amend, yesterday's story about the feministas chasing Avengers auteur Joss Whedon off Twitter. In a Buzzfeed interview today, he says he's doing so as a consequence of his next project:
“I saw a lot of people say, ‘Well, the social justice warriors destroyed one of their own!’ It’s like, Nope. That didn’t happen,” he continued. “I saw someone tweet it’s because Feminist Frequency pissed on Avengers 2, which for all I know they may have. But literally the second person to write me to ask if I was OK when I dropped out was [Feminist Frequency founder] Anita [Sarkeesian].”

What did happen, Whedon said, is that he chose to embrace his long-standing desire post–Age of Ultron to reclaim his personal life and creative spark — and that meant saying good-bye to Twitter. “I just thought, Wait a minute, if I’m going to start writing again, I have to go to the quiet place,” he said. “And this is the least quiet place I’ve ever been in my life. … It’s like taking the bar exam at Coachella. It’s like, Um, I really need to concentrate on this! Guys! Can you all just… I have to… It’s super important for my law!”
 I am not entirely convinced even he believes this, though:
“I’ve said before, when you declare yourself politically, you destroy yourself artistically,” he said. “Because suddenly that’s the litmus test for everything you do — for example, in my case, feminism. If you don’t live up to the litmus test of feminism in this one instance, then you’re a misogynist. It circles directly back upon you.”
Well, at least, that's how it works if you have camp followers who believe you must conform to their narrow (and frequently unknowable) ideals of how such a creature should behave, and think, and create.  I have read elsewhere — and cannot now put a finger to — a story claiming that Whedon has previously deleted his Twitter account, so there's reason to think he'll be back.

Update: Found the cite for Whedon's prior exit at Entertainment Weekly, exiting Twitter after concluding the campaign for his partly creepy but otherwise fun treatment of Much Ado About Nothing. Which brings up some other points:
  1. If his main reason for being on Twitter was to publicize the recently completed Avengers sequel, mission accomplished. I really can see this being a significant reason for walking away from Twitter.
  2. That said, couldn't it be both?
  3. If the fact that (some portion of) his audience is scary was in fact partly a motivation for his exit, is there any way on Earth he could say this? He (and his employers) depend on them to keep delivering multi-million-dollar paydays; dissing them publicly would be bad form and counterproductive. This cognitive dissonance is exactly what made the old Saturday Night Live sketch about William Shatner insulting his Trekkie audience at a fan convention so very funny:

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