Sometimes life imitates art and the friendly fight between Hawkeye and Black Widow in Avengers: Endgame has been mirrored by real-world events this week. In the MCU's most recent Avengers offering, Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner travel to see Red Skull on Vormir and pick up the Soul Stone as part of the time heist plan to defeat Thanos. Like the angry purple villain before them, however, the duo soon discover that a sacrifice is required and, not wanting to let the other die, the duo begin scrapping to be the first Avenger to jump over the cliff edge and give their life to procure the Soul Stone. Speaking of self-destructive acts, both Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner have had a bad week in the press through situations largely of their own making and, once again, Black Widow has emerged the victor.
In 2017, Renner set up an app dedicated entirely to himself. The official Jeremy Renner app was billed as letting fans "connect with the 2-time Academy Award nominee" by allowing users to view and comment on posts from Renner himself. YouTube personality, Danny Gonzalez, described the app as Instagram, but where Jeremy Renner is the only one allowed to post. The app's main feature allowed users to purchase "stars" with their real-life, hard-earned money, which would supposedly make your comments more likely to be noticed by the Avengers actor. Some might say this sounds suspiciously like a money-spinning ego trip.
Unfortunately for both users of the Official Jeremy Renner app, the service has now been shut down after an influx of impersonator accounts emerged and caused havoc. Obviously, this represents a huge embarrassment for Renner. As if the widespread jibes regarding what essentially amounts to a premium Twitter account weren't bad enough, being forced to close the app because of some internet scamps adds insult to injury.
Twitter user Andrew Woods pointed out parallels between these real-life events and Avengers: Endgame as, not to be outdone, Black Widow actress, Scarlett Johansson, found herself in much hotter water this week following a series of ill-advised comments regarding Woody Allen. Johansson has already suffered intense public criticism this year after responding to casting controversy by saying that she should be able to play "any person, or any tree, or any animal." Clearly, this belief isn't grounded in reality. While there's definitely an argument to be had over representation, casting and whitewashing in the entertainment industry, the suggestion that Johansson might be justified in auditioning for a Rosa Parks biopic, for example, is grossly misguided.
Just as Johansson's PR agent had finished recovering from that particular media storm, the actress piped up once again this week, defending director and man accused of sexual assault by his own adopted daughter, Woody Allen. Dylan Farrow's allegations regarding Allen first emerged in 1992 and have been investigated by the New York authorities, who found no evidence to substantiate the claims. Dylan has maintained her story into adulthood, and Allen has continuously responded with denials.
Scarlett Johansson is a prominent voice of the Time's Up movement, established to tackle the epidemic of sexism and sexual assault in the entertainment business. One of the movement's primary goals is to ensure that women who claim to have suffered abuse or assault are taken seriously, and this is why many are criticizing Johansson's staunch defense of Woody Allen. While the original investigation resulted in no charges being filed against Allen, the judge in the subsequent custody hearing described the director's behavior towards Dylan as "grossly inappropriate," casting doubt over the truth of the matter. In a show of support, several actors in Allen's recent movies have donated their fees to Time's Up.
With this air of uncertainty and Johansson's support of the Time's Up movement, it would have been wise for the actress to steer clear of the entire Woody Allen situation. Instead, Johansson waded in with intent, claiming to believe Allen's side of the story, despite not hearing Dylan Farrow's - a stance seemingly at odds with the Time's Up message. As much as Jeremy Renner's vanity app might've been ridiculed, Johansson's latest PR disaster represents the lowest point in a bad week for the Avengers: Endgame duo.