The Avengers: Age of Ultron director Joss Whedon left Twitter earlier this week after an onslaught of haters relentlessly attacked him.

Update (May 6): Whedon explains in a new interview why he left Twitter, and he says it has nothing to do with the negativity he’s received!

Now free to quit Twitter after wrapping his promotional run on Ultron, Whedon tweeted the following message before deleting his account a few minutes later:

joss-whedon-final-tweet

The tweet strongly suggests he decided to delete his account because of a flurry of negative activity on his Mentions page. About what? Since Ultron hit theaters across the world in April, moviegoers have been attacking him for various reasons, including Black Widow’s arc, which they say belittled her role.

Below are a sample of the tweets that attacked Whedon. As you can see, many of them focused on Black Widow and tagged his username so they would show up on his Mentions page. Warning: Very graphic language below.

Wow.

Responding to the growing story, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn took to his official Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon to voice his support for his fellow Marvel helmer. “My plea to all of you — and this is nothing new — is that we all try to be a little kinder, on the Internet and elsewhere. And, honestly, that includes being kind to the people who are tweeting this nonsense,” he wrote. “Imagine being a guy, like Joss Whedon, who has committed his life to fandom and to creating the best characters he possibly can, characters he loves, and has spent two years of his life working on a movie, and then has to wake up to this shit on Twitter.”

One thing is for sure: Celebrities like Whedon should try to eliminate the negativity on Twitter by not looking at their Mentions page — it’s a quick and easy way to silence the haters. (I wish I could instead say “I’m sure Whedon can rejoin Twitter because everyone will follow Gunn’s advice,” but the haters will never stop hating, will they?)

Whedon is the latest to quit Twitter over hateful tweets, but he won’t be the last. I personally think Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is on track to quit Twitter at some point in the future. She frequently takes a lot of heat over her political views and even gets into discussions with people. Why she actually takes these people to task is beyond me, but I do love how active she is on Twitter.

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