Joss Whedon Says His ‘Jurassic World’ Tweet Was ‘Bad Form’

joss whedon

At the “Avengers: Age of Ultron” premiere, Joss Whedon responded to the attention he got from a tweet on Friday that called a recent “Jurassic World” clip “70’s era sexist.”

“I shouldn’t have tweeted it,” he told Variety. “I don’t ever say things about other people’s work that are negative. That’s bad form. It’s not what a gentleman would do.”

The “Avengers” director was referring to a tweet from entertainment geek culture site the Mary Sue that said, “We’re too busy fanning ourselves to talk more about Chris Pratt in this #JurassicWorld clip.” Whedon commented tersely “…and I’m too busy wishing this clip wasn’t 70’s era sexist. She’s a stiff, he’s a life-force – really? Still?”

Whedon’s tweet was in response to an interaction in the footage between Pratt’s character and Bryce Dallas Howard’s in which he teases her over their bad first date, for which she printed out an itinerary. She then retorts that he shouldn’t have worn board shorts. Whedon’s projects have been recognized for featuring powerful female leads and feminist themes, such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Dollhouse.”

Although he regrets sending the tweet, Whedon hasn’t deleted it and stands by his judgement. “I forgot that I don’t do that because I was frustrated. I felt like I was seeing something that was problematic. What I said is pretty clear, but I think it was the wrong venue for me to be saying that. That’s dinner party conversation.”

Watch the “Jurassic World” clip below:

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  1. Ignorant_White_Male says:

    He said, “gentleman,” not “gentleperson.” SEXISM! GRAB YER TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS!

    Why can’t people keep their stupid, irrelevant political ideology out of entertainment. Stop ruining Firefly for me, Joss.

    I aim to misbehave.

  2. shingoex says:

    Keep in mind this is the same Joss Whedon who created Firefly and the character of Malcolm Reynolds, a man who is EXACTLY this same level of “sexist”.

  3. Anne Rogers says:

    Yet he deleted his ‘tweet’ about Clarence Thomas and affirmative action. Poor Whedon doesn’t like it when people other than his brainwashed fans pay attention to what he says.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Jesus tap dancing Christ. This is seriously the “red scare” of our time. Watch the movie or don’t. I’m getting worn out over all of this overanalyzing of every piece of media that gets released. While we bicker over a scene from a children’s movie a woman is getting raped in India because she can’t afford a toilet. A luxury I’m sure everyone here enjoys. Let’s all check our first world privilege, watch some dinosaurs eat some scientist, have a coke, & cease with the fu$&@:! bellyaching for 2 goddamn minutes.

  5. ObserverMI says:

    Continuity and cheese.

    Continuity… Beginning of the clip, his shirt around his arms are at one length, then he turns and… they’re another. Then another. Hello? Anyone with this kind of budget not watching? Weak.

    Cheese… that shirt is waaaay too tight. Just opposite of that childish dialogue.

    (soooo sick of rehashed retreads. We’re killing creativity as we stand. Mentally laziness and….greed)

  6. gregoryloyd says:

    Everything must be analyzed to the point of an -ism because not having your head up your ass would be unpatriotic apparently.

  7. wcockrell says:

    Says the man who just released an Age of Ultron clip with a rape joke in it. Glass houses and all that, sir.

  8. Maya S. says:

    I think it’s pretty sexist to hardly have Black Widow on any Avengers merchandise or promotional commercials.

  9. richard says:

    Storm in a teacup, or a teaspoon. This is a controversy, really? Of all the issues in the world this prompts over 30 comments discussing the virtues of the argument?

  10. Roque says:

    Whedon is right about the clip. It’s cheap writing and, unfortunately, it still sells tickets in this new millennium. Keep fighting the good fight, Joss.

  11. There are two inherent problems with his criticism.

    First, he’s taking one scent from a movie and making a pretty strong statement. That’s out of line because you don’t understand the context of the scene or characters. It’s not bad form to criticize another filmmaker, it’s bad form to make such a strong comment based on a single scene.

    To build on that, there are many scenes within the Marvel Universe that look like this when taken in isolation. Just off the top of my head, there are scenes between Thor/Jane, Stark/Pepper, Start/Black Widow, and Starlord/Gamora that look very similar to this one. Where are his criticisms of these scenes?

    Sadly, this reeks of Whedon looking scared of his competition at the box office.

    • therealeverton says:

      Sorry, but you’re the one in error here. His only competition comes from films opening against hus one. There are no big films anywhere near his, for obvious reasons.

      The man has the class to apologise for a brief slip in manners, so there’s no need to have a go.

      Name those scenes…

      It is not the same, and he doesn’t critique the whole film he criticises that whole plot device and YES you can tell from that exchange what has happened and how that character is portrayed. It us not a joke it is clearly a reference to earlier and it is still happening at the point in time. It’s an old fashioned plot device and nobody watching that scene thinks it is out of gontdxt unless they are trying to find fault. This isn’t Widow playing the part to get information etc. It’s akin to “why miss Jones, with your hair down and glasses off, you’re beautigul” And it us obvious. I hate people judging things piecemeal, bug Whedon called out that one scene and what it refers to and there is nothing context can do to alter that. .,oh unless they were re herding a play.

  12. Joss was right. I just watched the clip and he’s right. She is a stiff (“frigid”) and we can all predict he’s going to be the boyish half-insulting flirtatious guy to melt her icy heart.

    It doesn’t HAVE to be that she’s ready to run into the jungle with hot thigh holster holding her super gun at the ready. But I see that clip and I personally see every romance adventure movie from the 80’s.

    The actors may as well have been that dinosaur (even then) Michael Douglass and Kathleen Turner.

    • Corey says:

      I will gladly name those scenes. When Iron Man is in the ring and Black Widow comes in as a hot assistant and says, ” can I have one?” I could go on but your wrong and therealeverton is right. I think he is trying to make his competitors look weak because he feels threatened. Jurassic Park is not known for its script writing but boy do those movies pack the cinemas. Hes shaking in his boots, clearly – then he decided to take one scene and pick it apart out of context. Joss was wrong and so were you. Unless your the type to judge every book by its cover.

      • Tonya J says:

        Corey, did you know that Avengers Assemble was the third highest-grossing film in history? If Ultron doesn’t do twice that, I might eat my hat. Joss Whedon writes his own ticket now. He has few competitors, and really, no one who shares his unique take and vision. He commented out of surprise because of his focus on writing, but even so recognized he made a mistake in judgement. And it was really a pretty slight one; that we’re seeing the same old scene being played out we saw in an action film 25 years ago. Does an action film have to be dumbed down? If anything, an up-to-date exchange between people who once dated and who might actually have cared for each other could raise the stakes, especially when one of them might get killed by a dinosaur.

    • Now that I think about it, that would have been a much hotter story line:

      She wants the dinosaurs controlled and contained and has a bit of a rogue streak in her–always ready to run into the jungle to zap herself some raptors.

      HE is the opposite kind of rogue, who is laid back, understands the creatures and though he is tasked with protecting the people from the raptors, he must also protect the raptors from the rogue hunter lady.

      She’s hunting raptors, he’s CHASING her AND the raptors, and the raptors are stalking them both. BWAHAHA….

      And in the end, they kiss (if the producers insist).

      My premise is MUCH better than this relic of a story premise. The taglines practically write themselves.

      :D

  13. me says:

    Let’s be honest: the scene in the trailer is exactly like he described, and it was the first thought I had too. Here we go again, the woman who is too serious and the surfer dude who doesn’t take anything seriously. It’s been done a million times before.

    But I would refrain from judgement until actually seeing the entire movie.

  14. xn0 says:

    Whedon pandering to feminists again. Very dissapointing. Is that a result of hippie laissez-faire upbringing? Its uncool und not very earnest, when he’s collecting brownie-points with the girls doing his nice-guy “I unterstand your cause” scheme.

    • It doesn’t occur to you that he is just speaking AS a feminist?

      • I totally agree with Bender. Watch any interview with Whedon about feminism and equality. He isn’t subtle.

        This argument of ‘pandering to feminists’ is kind of getting old, too by the way. I saw it on a thread for a story about Star Wars having a strong female character. I’m not using this anecdote to put words into your (xn0) mouth, but It’s sad that having a strong female character is seen as negative, and ‘pandering to the feminists’.

  15. Whedon isn’t a sexist. He’s known for writing sting female characters and championing rights. The Mary Sue has a large female user base, and they just got called out for their hypocrisy and sexist double standards.

    Really if was a website with a male dominated user base tweeting the same thing and begin called out by a female direct you could guarantee they’d be chew out from false indignation by SJW

    Absolutely Frickin’ Hilarious.

    • Johdar Qwed says:

      Way to go Brandon. I think your white male privilege is showing. You’ve called yourself out by the use of that horrible “SJW” tag,so I know where you stand.

  16. Jacques Strappe says:

    Whedon does have a great track record showcasing strong, independent female leads in his projects. He speaks how he feels on social media about a topic and an industry he is highly familiar with and pisses people off because of his opinion. Oh well, apparently the opinion of those who don’t work in the industry is the only one that matters.

  17. I love Joss Whedon and he is much smarter than me overall, but his misplaced white knight f*****ry over this and similar topics is a good reminder that even a genius can be a fool at times.

  18. Mike says:

    We all have regrets. For example, I regret going to the cinema to see Avengers Assemble.

  19. Lucifer says:

    It’s funny because there were “stiff” female characters who were in positions of power within several of his projects. He’s a hypocrite.

    • there were characters like that because “people are like that”? Or are you saying that the main women or women in general were always represented that way?

      There is a difference. It’s sort of like the difference between asking the women in a group to always be the cooks and dishwashers and the men do the grilling and drinking beer. That’s sexist. But it’s another thing when everyone mixes it up and some women naturally want to cook and clean while other women naturally gravitate towards grilling and beer.

      Seeing it as always sexist as in women most possibly cannot perform the role of a stereotype or you’re sexist… that IS sexist.

  20. Tonya says:

    I can appreciate that JW, like anyone, had an opinion about that scene but because of his visibility has to second-guess himself and choke back that impulse every time he has one (especially at a place like Twitter where nearly every fricking thing he says that’s project related becomes news. An innocent remark about Firefly, say missing it, wishing he could bring it back, for example leads to some news outlet reporting “Joss Whedon says he’ll bring back Firefly” – Cripes). The shredding of him on Twitter since the Jurassic World remark is nauseating. But he does have a point and it’s a good one. Why can’t action films make men and women equal partners onscreen? Why can’t the dialogue reflect the time we live in, not the same action movie we saw 30 years ago where the male lead is tut-tutting a woman he once dated or whatever the situation may be? I found the clip from Raiders of the Lost Ark this morning in which Indy has come looking for Marion. They hadn’t seen each other for 10 years and the chemistry is sizzling. Then, she punches him out. That was 1981. IJS.

  21. Anne says:

    You can write strong women all you want and that is great, but there are more than just strong women in this world. And that includes “stiff” women. Plus I’m still not sure that someone who fired a women because she was pregnant is really someone I want to hear opinions from.

    • Exactly. Which is worse? A fictional sexist character in a movie, or someone who fires an actress over her pregnancy. And as far as I know, has never owned up to it or apologized..

      • Fred Miller says:

        I think it is more to do with what you can do with a character when the actress is pregnant. If you write something for a character and a few weeks before you are about to shoot the actress says they are pregnant and will not be able to do those shots for you it kindof makes a lot of unnecissary work. Essspically for tv where you have to film alot in a small amount of time and deal with a lot of people it is kind of bad when you have to say a few weeks before lets scrap nearlly everything we have planned and do this instead. What he did was not sexist but more for technical reasons i would say, and i would say tha they are both profestionals and understand how the buisness works

      • ellie says:

        He didn’t fire her because she was pregnant, I think it was because she hid the pregnancy too long and they couldn’t rewrite what they’d written because of time issues, and that somehow derailed the 4th season of Angel. But she spoke about it really honestly at a con and she says they hashed it out and are okay now. Doesn’t excuse what he did (if he did what you said) but the industry is fickle and deadlines are deadlines so he had to write her out when she had the baby and the show ended a year after. So I don’t know.

  22. Micah says:

    I completely stand behind Joss Whedon’s appraisal. I appreciate him pointing stuff like that out. We need more men who point out sexist sh*t like that!

  23. Ken says:

    Mr. Whedon must think we all go to the JURASSIC movies for the incisive dialogue and sophisticated character portrayals…but he’d be wrong. We go to see dinosaurs wreaking havoc and watch humans running and screaming. This is why I will be attending JURASSIC WORLD on opening weekend…and I can’t wait!

  24. Mantle Head says:

    It’s actually not that bad, they have good chemistry together… it’s just too bad we can’t have innuendo and not feel the need have to hammer it home (kind of sad); though if anyone has read Micheal Crichton books there is a lot of sex talk, misogyny in general. His male characters are always Ivy League, Class A perverts. He was horny guy, but a great storyteller.

  25. PMD says:

    Yes and The Avengers is so progressive when it comes to women. Black Widow stands around in the background in super-tight clothing and that’s about it. He’s an idiot.

    • therealeverton says:

      Clearly you weren’t paying attention. Aside from the fact that she was so far away from the background that she is the Avenger that actually “saved the World” Not Thor’s Power, Not Hulk’s Strength, Not Iron Man’s tech, Black Widow went to close the portal and succeeded.

      Next she wasn’t the only woman in the film, nor was she the only “action” woman in the film.

      As for costumes, just as Mido mentions, the men wear costumes just like hers, and more so. Comic books, super heroes, the are body worship, just as much for the men as or the women. What matters, is the choice to give her an outfit comparable to the men’s and that looks practical as well. Just like Maria Hill.

      Joss Whedon is famous for strong female characters, and has added a female genius and arguably the most powerful , human, character to the Avengers sequel.

    • Fred Miller says:

      comic books since the begening have oversexualized women and i think he does a good job of making her a more interesting character that is better than just the steriotyped female character who is taugh and stict but then falls for the gufffy guy in the end

    • Mido says:

      You do realize that Hawkeye wears basically the same damn outfit that Black Widow does, right? Clueless, you only see what you want to see.

    • You’re joking, right? Black Widow is the best of all of them because she doesn’t have super powers and STILL goes toe-to-toe with the bad guys without flinching.

  26. Josh says:

    Perhaps it was bad form to call out another filmmaker, but he was spot on citing the terrible acting.

    • Asdf Jkl says:

      except he didn’t reference the terrible acting at all… just called it sexist… As if in reality there aren’t women who are more serious and businesslike and men who are inappropriate… Give me a break

  27. mikeam1978 says:

    I don’t see how it’s sexist, but it’s certainly evidence of cliched writing and horrible acting. I mean, the clip does nothing to ease the fears of fans who were worried about Chris “Douchebag” Pratt being in this. This clip just hammers home how bad he’s going to be.

  28. therealeverton says:

    He’s right,but again it’s cool that he doesn’t like to publicly criticise his fellow writers / directors.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m glad he didn’t delete it or try to distance himself from the feelings behind the post. We’ve all probably posted things that we might have regretted, but unless the original post was based on bad information or a misunderstanding, he probably felt it was a valid concern. He did the right thing in saying there may be better venues, and perhaps someday he could address concerns publicly in a forum with more than 140 characters.

      • therealeverton says:

        @ MCO

        You could do that, however whilst Widow’s “Patsy / Dumb girl routine is a part of her skill set, it is N~OT her core character, whereas ity is very clear that Howard’s character starts out as exatly what Whedon discusses: It is unlikely in the extreme that this was a one off thing she did that is out of charter.

      • MCO says:

        Or maybe after he saw the whole movie.

        If you take 1 minute from avengers for example, you could say that the only woman in the movie, black widow, is competent spy that let herself be manipulate by the big bad guy, because she cant’ handle her emotions…you just have to cut it just before she reveals that she used her apparent weakness to play the big bad guy, herself.

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