'The Avengers' Director Receives Backlash for Joke Involving Child Cancer Survivors Meeting With Paul Ryan

Joss Whedon / AP
April 28, 2017

Hollywood director Joss Whedon on Thursday mocked a photo of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) meeting with teenage childhood cancer survivors, joking that Ryan was rating their attractiveness while in search of a new wife for President Trump.

Ryan tweeted a picture of him meeting with the cancer survivors in Washington, D.C., praising their "powerful stories." The teens came from One Step Camp, an organization run by Children's Oncology Services, Inc. in Chicago, according to BuzzFeed News.

Whedon, who directed The Avengers and created the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, took a different tone than Ryan, tweeting the same picture with a comment about Ryan judging the girls' levels of attractiveness.

"Tonight on White House Wife Hunt, Donny makes host P. Ryan give 2 more contestants the 'Not a 10' card," Whedon wrote.

Whedon's fans and others on Twitter castigated the comment.

Whedon later deleted the tweet and apologized.

Thursday was not the first time Whedon has gone after Paul Ryan. In January, the Hollywood director, an outspoken liberal and anti-Donald Trump activist, said that he wants "a rhino to f**k [Ryan] to death with its horn because it's FUNNY [sic]."

Whedon also said days after the 2016 presidential election that Trump could not be allowed to serve a term in office.

Two months earlier, Whedon wrote and directed an anti-Trump video, gathering Hollywood stars to encourage Americans not to vote for the Republican candidate.

UPDATE: 12:20 P.M.: The article earlier stated that Whedon was joking Ryan was the one looking for a new wife, rather than looking for a new wife for Trump.