By Christopher Rosen
Updated May 05, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Desiree Navarro/WireImage

During an interview with Conan O’Brien on Monday to promote Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jeremy Renner said he was surprised by the online reaction to the comments he made about Black Widow. (Last month, Renner and co-star Chris Evans joked that their fictional teammate was a “slut” and a “complete whore” during a junket interview.)

“Yeah, it was a joke. Off-colored. Whatever. I’m unapologetic about a lot of things, but I got into a lot of internet trouble. Because that’s a thing now, you can get in,” Renner told O’Brien. The actor then explained how a question about Black Widow’s romantic partners (she’s been linked to four characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far) led to his remark.

“Mind you, I was talking about a fictional character and fictional behavior. But, Conan, if you slept with four of the six Avengers, no matter how much fun you had, you’d be a slut,” Renner said. “I’d be a slut.”

The comments Renner made to O’Brien echo the actor’s apology following the initial uproar.

“I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone,” Renner said in a statement. “It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour.” Watch O’Brien and Renner discuss the incident below.