UPDATE: After Jeremy Renner’s comments went viral online, the Avengers star responded to critics via Twitter, writing, “Dear sensationalism, ‘Pay her’ isn’t the headline to get you the attention you’re needing? Here’s a big Twitter hug #journalismmatters.”
EARLIER: Jennifer Lawrence’s recent essay calling out sexism and unequal pay in Hollywood has become a rallying cry for many of her fellow actors, including Rooney Mara, Jessica Chastain, and Bradley Cooper.
But one of Lawrence and Cooper’s American Hustle costars, Jeremy Renner, had a different response when asked whether he’d be willing to actively negotiate alongside his female costars for equal pay in the future.
“That’s not my job,” Renner told Business Insider on Tuesday, adding, “I don’t know contracts and money and all that sort of stuff.”
Renner went on to say that he fully supports actresses being compensated fairly; he’s just focused on his acting. “I’m a performer and I know human behavior,” he said. “When it comes to that sort of stuff I let other people deal with that.”
The quote garnered criticism on Twitter, where many users called for Renner’s Avengers character Clint Barton to be replaced with Kate Bishop, a female version of Hawkeye in the Marvel comics.
It’s not the first time online commenters took issue with Renner this year. At the Golden Globes in January, he made a remark about Jennifer Lopez’s breasts while they co-presented an award and was criticized. (Lopez, for her part, said the quip was “really funny.”) In April, during press for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Renner joked that the character Black Widow was a “slut” because of her relationships with other Marvel heroes. He later apologized.
Renner’s comments to Business Insider came a week after Cooper told Reuters that he has begun working with his female costars to hash out equitable salaries for all involved before he signs on for new projects. “I don’t know where it’s changing otherwise, but that’s something that I could do,” he said.
“Usually you don’t talk about the financial stuff, you have people,” Cooper added. “But you know what? It’s time to start doing that.”