Here's what we know: Joss Whedon has deleted his Twitter account.
Here's what we don't know: why. But we have a pretty good idea.
Just three days after Avengers: Age of Ultron hit movie theaters nationwide and drew in huge box office revenues, the film's writer/director Joss Whedon exited Twitter, seemingly for good. Here are the facts we're aware of at the moment.
Apparently, a vocal group of angry female Twitterers were displeased with Whedon's treatment of Scarlett Johansson's character Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow. Without going into spoilers, let's just say that there are dramatic developments that occur, including bits of her backstory and her current love interest. And this group of vocal Twitter users didn't care for those developments.
A whole freaking lot.
So they did what all Twitter users do when they're filled with outrage: they tweeted it. User @astojap has archived/gathered many of these hate-filled, character-assassinating tweets, and if you have a sensitive constitution or are averse to potential spoilers, we don't recommend reading them. At best, they're pretty disgusting. At worst, some of them might constitute actual threats against Whedon's safety.
Whether for this reason or not, he signed off from Twitter earlier today after posting two final messages. The first read:
"Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
Most readers seemed to interpret this as evidence of the filmmaker's exhaustion from the long haul that Age of Ultron has been. A short while later, he wrote one last tweet that read,
"Thank you to all the people who've been so kind and funny and inspiring up in here."
And that was it. We have no further details, and Whedon himself has not publicly commented on the situation. Before deleting his account, he had more than one million followers.
Whedon has ruffled a few feathers in other ways recently, first by criticizing Jurassic World's handling of female characters (and later apologizing) and more recently by alluding to growing conflicts between himself and Marvel Studios. Conspiracy theorists will no doubt begin piecing together narratives that involve Marvel "firing" Whedon and him being "forced" or "shamed" into deleting his Twitter account, among other supposed "punishments."
We will attempt to reserve judgment until more information comes to light.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is in theaters now.