Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans Apologize for Black Widow ‘Slut’ Joke

After heated backlash from fans, the “Avengers” stars issued statements regarding joke about Scarlett Johansson‘s character

Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans have apologized for derogatory jokes made about “Avengers: Age of Ultron” co-star Scarlett Johansson‘s character, Black Widow, in an interview with Digital Spy.

In the interview, the two are asked about Black Widow’s relationship with Mark Ruffalo‘s character, Bruce (Hulk), to which Jeremy Renner responds, “she’s a slut.” Evans cracks up, adding: “A complete whore.”

Viewers were outraged at the joke, calling Evans and Renner “sexist” and “insulting.” In response, both Evans and Renner issued a statement concerning the controversy:

“Yesterday we were asked about the rumors that Black Widow wanted to be in a relationship with both Hawkeye and Captain America,” Evans said in a statement provided to EW. “We answered in a very juvenile and offensive way that rightfully angered some fans. I regret it and sincerely apologize.”

“I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone,” Renner also said in a statement provided to EW. “It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour.”

Yet, some fans are questioning why this is even a controversy, noting, as Renner did, that Black Widow is a fictional character and the duo wasn’t talking about Johansson. However, this is not the first misstep on the movie’s press tour. On Wednesday, Robert Downey Jr. walked out of an interview when asked about his past personal struggles, as TheWrap previously reported.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” hits theaters on May 1.