Avengers (2012) director Joss Whedon botched yet another foray into political commentary on Thursday when he again took aim at President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan in a tweet.
“Tonight on White House Wife Hunt, Donny makes host P. Ryan give 2 more contestants the ‘Not a 10’ card,” Whedon tweeted with a photo of the House speaker shaking hands with young women on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
But Whedon chose his attack very poorly. The photo he used was taken from Paul Ryan’s Twitter account. Ryan praised the young women pictured, writing, “Advocacy is not limited to adults. These Wisconsin teens shared some powerful stories with me about their fight against child cancer.” (emphasis added)
Advocacy is not limited to adults. These Wisconsin teens shared some powerful stories with me about their fight against childhood cancer. pic.twitter.com/VJ0eQDXu7U
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 27, 2017
That’s right — Whedon was sexualizing child cancer survivors in order to attack Trump and Ryan. The idea of a Hollywood director stooping to calling these young ladies “contestants” on “White House Wife Hunt” is appalling, and Twitter users called Whedon out on it.
Michael Shapiro, communications advisor for the House speaker, responded powerfully. “These are childhood cancer survivors. Delete your account,” he quipped, using the very phrase Hillary Clinton employed to President Donald Trump.
These are childhood cancer survivors. Delete your account. https://t.co/RblLtOutOf
— Michael Shapiro (@mis2127) April 28, 2017
Stephen Miller, a contributor at Heat Street, mocked the media for not making as big a deal of the Whedon tweet as they should have. “That time Joss Whedon attacked female teenage cancer survivors and journalists said ‘Yeah not rushing toward that fire either,'” Miller wrote.
That time Joss Whedon attacked female teenage cancer survivors and journalists said "Yeah not rushing toward that fire either."
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) April 27, 2017
Whedon eventually decided to “apologize,” but many considered his followup statement rather lacking in contrition.
“So I tweeted something that inadvertently offended everyone except the people I was trying to offend,” Whedon tweeted. “I’m sorry. I’ll be quiet for a bit.”
So I tweeted something that inadvertently offended everyone except the people I was trying to offend. I'm sorry. I'll be quiet for a bit.
— Joss Whedon (@joss) April 28, 2017
Conservative YouTube star Mark Dice attacked this would-be apology. “This is not an apology. You made fun of kids who survived cancer you Satanic scumbag, and you tweet *this* as an ‘apology,'” Dice tweeted, creatively using emojis to call Whedon a “pizza” “sh*t.”
Whedon’s attack on female cancer survivors also clashes with the image he uses for his Twitter account — a photo of himself standing with the “Fearless Girl” statue. Here it is, in all its glory.
But this is not the first time Whedon has waded into politics. He released an Armageddon ad against Mitt Romney in 2012, but his worst excesses have come this year. In January, the Avengers director tweeted that he would love to see a rhino “f**k speaker Ryan to death.” Lovely.
He also attacked the First Daughter Ivanka Trump, essentially calling her a b*tch and attacking her husband Jared Kushner as “Voldemort in training.”
Naturally, public figures are not above criticism or even ad hominem attacks. But Whedon has shown a disgusting propensity to make undignified slights. In order to attack Ryan and Trump, he was willing to drag survivors of child cancer through the mud.
Even for social justice warriors, this is a new low.