It was fun while it lasted, but like many things on the internet, the Jeremy Renner app has been overrun by trolls.
The Avengers: Endgame actor launched a free app this year so he could create a space to interact with fans, but it seems some users cared more about mischief than community. What began as a lighthearted joke by a comedy writer turned into people impersonating Renner and others on the app, and now the actor is shutting the project down.
“The app has jumped the shark. Literally,” Renner wrote in a goodbye message. “Due to clever individuals that were able to manipulate ways to impersonate me and others within the app, I have asked EXCAPEX, the company that runs this app to shut it down immediately and refund anyone who has purchased and stars over the last 90 days. What was supposed to be a place for fans to connect with each other has turned into a place that is everything I detest and can’t or won’t condone. My sincere apologies for this to have not turned out the way it ws intended. To all the super-fans who have supported me with your words or encouragement, amazing art, stories, and time shared on the app, a genuine thank you and I hope to see you on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.”
On Tuesday, comedy writer Stefan Heck took responsibility for breaking the app through his attempt to lightly troll users on the platform. In response to Renner’s post asking what his fans were doing over the weekend, Heck wrote that he would be “looking at porno on my computer.”
Next thing Heck knew, “dozens of false Renners had sprouted up, sowing chaos and pretending to like porno,” he wrote. “Legitimate Renner fans were rightfully confused and terrified.”
Perhaps the demise of the Jeremy Renner app is for the best. Some people criticized it even before PornoGate (which is what I’ve dubbed the incident). Two YouTubers who tried out the app described it as “basically just Instagram, if the only person allowed to post on Instagram was Jeremy Renner.” Additionally, Renner would often repost content he’d already shared on Instagram, making the app somewhat redundant. And some observers found the app to be a transparent cash grab, as fans had to pay money to earn stars in order for Renner to respond to them.