Watch: Cosmopolitan Asks Mark Ruffalo Sexist Questions Scarlett Johansson Gets in Avengers: Age of Ultron Interviews

Friday, 24 April 2015 - 1:02PM
Marvel
Avengers
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Friday, 24 April 2015 - 1:02PM
Watch: Cosmopolitan Asks Mark Ruffalo Sexist Questions Scarlett Johansson Gets in Avengers: Age of Ultron Interviews
After the sexist PR disaster Avengers suffered yesterday, some progressive-leaning press can only do Marvel good. In this interview by Cosmopolitan, Scarlett Johansson is asked the substantive questions that the men are asked all the time, while Mark Ruffalo is asked the insulting questions Johansson usually has to answer, such as his fashion choices and slim-down techniques:



First, the interviewer comments on the unprofessional, sometimes degrading questions Johansson gets during Avengers interviews, such as "Can you wear underwear under the Black Widow costume?" (Not to mention that actresses in general are asked less substantive questions than the men during interviews, see the #AskHerMore campaign.) Then, she proceeds to ask Ruffalo similarly trivial questions, such as "What are you wearing on the red carpet this evening?" and "Have you got any sort of cleansing tips on removing the tough-to-remove makeup?" while she asks Johansson substantive questions about her character and her stunt work.

It's all in good fun, and Ruffalo is a great sport about it, but some of the answers are depressing, as they speak directly to the issues. First, when the interviewer asks, "Did you feel much pressure to slim down, get in shape, go on a diet?", Ruffalo responds that he doesn't go to the gym much because he "wanted Banner to look kind of like a normal person." This is a luxury that most actresses don't have, as their function in action movies is often to serve as a love interest/eye candy, so their physical attractiveness is paramount. To be fair, male actors aren't completely immune to this, as Ruffalo recently had to bulk up for Foxcatcher, but there are far, far more roles for "normal men" than there are for "normal women."

But the saddest moment comes when the interviewer asks, "Do you have any special poses for the red carpet that you know will be so flattering?" Johansson gives him a couple of jokey tips, and then asks, "Do you ever have photographers yell at you, 'Mark! Over your shoulder!'" The fact that it's ridiculous to imagine a photographer making that demand of Ruffalo, when Johansson presumably gets it all the time, says everything.

And, incidentally, this is exactly why Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner's sexist gaffe yesterday wasn't harmless simply because "she's a fictional character." Black Widow might be a fictional character, but Scarlett Johansson isn't, and that boys' club attitude contributes to the discrimination she experiences in real life.

Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out on May 1.
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