Joss Whedon Didn’t Quit Twitter Because of All the Mean Feminists

Joss Whedon and Scarlett Johansson

Because the Internet is the Internet and everybody has an axe to grind, Joss Whedon’s deletion of his Twitter account earlier this week prompted theories and accusations galore. He was tired of the abuse! Avengers: Age of Ultron was out and he was done interacting with us plebes! He’d been kidnapped and turned into a GamerGater by Adam Baldwin! (Okay, that one was mine, I’ll own it.) But the most popular theory—or, at least, the one proclaimed loudest—was that the problematic gender politics and even more problematic publicity tour of Ultron had drawn the ire of The Radical Feminists, who had turned on an ally and driven him from social media.

That explanation, Whedon says, is “horseshit.” In a phone interview with Buzzfeed, Whedon explains, “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… 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].”

The real and less exciting/controversial/finger-pointing-at-activists-you-want-to-blame-everything-on explanation? He just wants to get some work done. “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!”

He did take the opportunity to talk a bit about in-fighting among progressive activists (“Every breed of feminism is attacking every other breed, and every subsection of liberalism is always busy attacking another subsection of liberalism, because god forbid they should all band together and actually fight for the cause”) and his own place in the fight for gender equality (“For someone like me even to argue about feminism — it’s not a huge win. Because ultimately I’m just a rich, straight, white guy”); check out the full interview here.