Joss Whedon has never been shy about speaking out against misogyny within the entertainment industry. His latest shot across the bow of the patriarchy comes in an interview with Digital Spy conducted on the set of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" last summer.
"It's a phenomenon in the industry that we call 'stupid people,'" Whedon said when asked about the dearth of female-led superhero movies. "There is genuine, recalcitrant, intractable sexism, and old-fashioned quiet misogyny that goes on. [...] You hear, 'Oh, [female superheroes] don't work because of these two bad ones that were made eight years ago,' there's always an excuse."
This isn't the first time Whedon, who directed "Marvel's The Avengers" and its forthcoming sequel, weighed in on the topic. Speaking to The Daily Beast in 2013, Whedon also called the idea that female superhero movies couldn't work "stupid."
"I'm hoping 'The Hunger Games' will lead to a paradigm shift," he said at the time. "It's frustrating to me that I don't see anybody developing one of these movies. It actually pisses me off. My daughter watched 'The Avengers' and was like, 'My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,' and I thought, Yeah, of course they were. I read a beautiful thing Junot Diaz wrote: 'If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.'"
Since Whedon spoke to Digital Spy, both Marvel (with Captain Marvel) and DC Comics (with Wonder Woman) announced plans for standalone superhero films with females leads at the center. Speaking to BuzzFeed on Thursday, Whedon clarified his comments. "I just thought, 'I sounded very harsh,'" he said about the original comments. "And then [Marvel announced], 'We're going to make Captain Marvel. We're going to make Black Panther. We're going to shake it up.' I was just like, great! Now I just sound mean and bitter. But, you know, there's a lot to be mean and bitter about."
When reached by The Huffington Post, a representative for Whedon said he had nothing further to add.
Read the full interview with Whedon at Digital Spy.
This post has been updated to included Whedon's recent comments to BuzzFeed.