Avengers rape joke: Joss Whedon’s Age of Ultron “prima nocta” explained (VIDEO).

Is There Really a Rape Joke in Avengers: Age of Ultron? Let’s Watch the Scene.

Is There Really a Rape Joke in Avengers: Age of Ultron? Let’s Watch the Scene.

Slate in motion.
May 6 2015 2:58 PM

Is There Really a Rape Joke in Avengers: Age of Ultron?

Let’s watch the scene for ourselves.

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Screenshot via YouTube

It’s been an odd few weeks to be a Joss Whedon fan. The Buffy creator has been going through a kind of public meltdown ahead of the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and that’s coincided with some of the most vocal criticism of his career, specifically over the film's depiction of Black Widow. 

But the most galling moment in the movie, first pointed out a couple weeks ago, comes during one of its few laid-back sequences. The bit has the Avengers each take a stab at lifting Thor’s hammer. When it's Tony Stark's turn, he makes a bizarre joke that’s especially strange coming from Whedon—who, after all, has made headlines for calling out sexist dialogue in other summer blockbusters. Watch the video above to parse the scene.

Jeffrey Bloomer is Slate's senior video producer.

Daniel Hubbard is a writer, editor, and director living in New York City.