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Dear Jeremy Renner,

Recently, you and your Avengers co-star Chris Evans were in a lot of “internet trouble” for some comments calling Black Widow a ‘slut’ and ‘whore’. I actually defended you, because I knew you and Evans were joking. You have a lot of respect for Scarlet and the characters she plays. You guys later issued apologies to the fans, which I commend you for doing. The fire has been put out. There was no more “internet trouble”. Then, you had to go on Conan’s show and essentially take back the apology and explain your reasoning behind calling Black Widow a slut. Alright.

I’ve been a fan of yours since 2002. I’ve watched every movie, TV, and guest appearance you’ve ever made and own all the DVD/Blu-rays to the movies you’ve been in, including your first starring role in Dahmer. You could say I’m a mega-fan who has a crush on you… a very big crush for years. Let’s just say, I’m your fan. So it was very disappointing to see you further put your foot in your mouth explaining why Black Widow was a slut.

Here are the reasons why you are in “internet trouble”:

1. It is very difficult to stand by you when you are making statements and issuing apologies that you don’t even mean. I know you were joking when making those initial comments. I know this is your personality, but you are contradicting the type of person you want your fans to see you as. Just stick to what you say and people can judge you based on that.

2. You also need to understand that, even though you’re an actor, you’re also playing a role model for young kids and adults everywhere. Hawkeye is a superhero that a lot of kids want to emulate. Calling a fellow Avenger a “slut”–especially when she is the only female Avenger–doesn’t look good among young impressionable kids who love the Avengers, especially little girls who look up to Black Widow. Black Widow is a badass character who can keep up with “the boys”. Don’t limit her to just her sex life.

3. MCU’s Black Widow has not slept with any of the Avengers. She is best friends with Hawkeye (who is married to another character). She kissed Captain America, but that was only to hide from the bad guys. Nothing happened between her and Tony or Thor. And she did not (spoiler) join Bruce Banner in the shower. The farthest they went so far is flirting and a kiss. You should know this… you were in the movies!

4. Just because Black Widow is a fictional character doesn’t mean you can make that comment. Yes, you would be a slut if you slept with a lot of people, but it’s different to say that about a woman. We still have the double standard where if a man is a “slut”, he’s congratulated for it. Meanwhile, if a woman is called a “slut”, she is scorned and criticized. It may be wrong, but that is just how society still is. Yes, it’s still a thing.

5. There is already a lot of negative press surrounding Black Widow because of the lack of Black Widow merchandise available and now with this whole Joss Whedon situation (which he doesn’t deserve at all). She is a major female character in one of the largest franchises in the world – shouldn’t we be adding positive press around her instead of adding to the negativity?

I still adore you. I really do. Your acting is what drew my attention to you and followed you through your career these past 13 years and I’m still following it. I just need you to stop and think about your actions from a fan’s perspective. I know you were joking, but some jokes have their consequences. This is still a problem in our generation. The internet is a scary place, but we still need it. You still need it.

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Laura Sirikul

Trekkie. Jedi. Whovian. Sherlockian. Heathen. Hobbit. Sanrio. Comics. I am Spartacus. Warrior Princess. Superhero. Nerd. Follow me @lsirikul

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