Almost as big as the box office for “Avengers: Age Of Ultron” this weekend was the vitriolic backlash from a certain segment of fans, followed by Joss Whedon‘s abrupt departure from Twitter. Many made the assumption that he fled the social media outlet due to attacks by feminists over aspects of his blockbuster sequel. But speaking with Buzzfeed, the director shares that it was creative space he needed, and it wasn’t the comments that forced him out.
Instead, Whedon explains he wants no distractions as he gets ready to embark on whatever his next creative venture will be. “I just thought, Wait a minute, if I’m going to start writing again, I have to go to the quiet place,” the director 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!”
Still, on some level, Whedon does seem affected by the constant stream of bile that appeared in his feed over time. “[Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis said], ‘You’re going to meet a new kind of person.’ His example was a letter somebody had written that just said, ‘In panel one, page 17, Daredevil would never say that, die die why can’t you just die?’ … I haven’t dealt with a lot of that, because my fans have always been sweet, erudite, interesting, compassionate people,” Whedon explained about the advice he was given when he first started writing for Marvel. ‘Like, I don’t know any ‘Buffy‘ trolls. So the steady stream of just like, ‘You suck, you suck, you suck’ [on Twitter] — I don’t really think I need to visit You Suck Land anymore.”
So, it would appear that a mix of negativity, a need for space, and an awareness that social media becomes a fix rather than a tool, have all lead to Whedon departing. “The real issue is me. Twitter is an addictive little thing, and if it’s there, I gotta check it,” he said. “When you keep doing something after it stops giving you pleasure, that’s kind of rock bottom for an addict. … I just had a little moment of clarity where I’m like, You know what? If I want to get stuff done, I need to not constantly hit this thing for a news item or a joke or some praise, and then be suddenly sad when there’s hate and then hate and then hate.”