Jeremy Renner started trending on Twitter as soon as the news broke that Elon Musk is buying Twitter. Hundreds of people used the occasion to troll Renner’s now defunct Jeremy Renner App. The joke being, Musk is likely to ruin Twitter so much that it is rather better to migrate to Renner’s app which apparently was the worst. Renner had a mobile app to connect with his fans but it had to be shut down due to trolls which makes him and his fans a victim of trolling but they hate the victims. They continue to make the app a butt of jokes. I am not talking about anonymous two bit troll accounts but a significant number of Twitter influencers with blue ticks who engaged in this banal humour. Some of these tweets got lakhs of Likes and Retweets. Some people also started talking about how bad the Renner app was and how it asked for money (to buy fan merchandise by the way).
It is bad enough that the reasons people hated Jeremy Renner app was baseless. The app was a place for Renner fans to directly connect with him, a place to feel love, and a place to find a sense of belonging to a community. It was nobody’s business to sit and judge what was happening inside the app or to infiltrate it by creating fake accounts and disrupt the user experience. Non-fans who entered the app had an issue that it had in-app purchase features for merchandise and other activities, that Renner was full of vanity. They laughed at the app for cajoling and wooing the users with terms like “Rennsday” for Wednesday (Like Rennervations for Renovations). Pray, what’s there to grudge when fans like doing those silly things and find peace in being that way? I mean, Benedict Cumberbatch’s fans call themselves Cumberbitches. Beat that. What goes on inside a celebrity app is between the fans and the celebrity, but while the genuine Renner fans had no complaints non-fans entered the app to find flaws. A bunch of social media mercenaries deliberately did a hit job on the app by creating multiple fake accounts impersonating Jeremy Renner and harassed the app users. The whole thing was actually a cyber crime and Renner should have reported the matter to the police and had it investigated as to who was behind the conspiracy? What was the motivation of these trolls to go out o the way to harass Renner and his fans? Why this hate? There are no answers. Instead, he just told his team to shut it down. Worst part is the trolls did not leave him. They find a reason to drag his app into conversation that has nothing to do with him.
This is not the first time. At least on three such occasions in the last two-three months, time since I started keenly following Renner’s life and career and wrote this really long unofficial biography of sort, I noticed that something happened in the world and people made it about Jeremy Renner, not to remember him fondly or spread love for him but to use banal humor bordering to hate.
Around February 6, 2022, when the Russia-Ukraine war broke out several viral photos and videos of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in army gear reached American audience and they noticed a striking resemblance between him and Jeremy Renner. Renner fans started trending the idea that whenever a movie is made on the war Renner should be cast to play Zelensky. That led to another set of people to condemn the idea that while people are dying America can only think of movies. I understand the point, but I also feel that because the fan cast was Renner it invited more ire otherwise making war movies is not a taboo in US. Had they said, Christian Bale or Matt Damon should star as Zelensky it would not have become a thing to write or talk about.
Around February 27, Disney+ announced Jeremy Renner’s next TV series Exec-produced by Renner titled “Rennervations” about which I wrote here and the same thing happened. They started making fun of the idea of the show. Some of the haters questioned why Disney giving more shows to Renner.
Why do people find a reason to hate Jeremy Renner when he is one of the clean guys in Hollywood?
Hollywood is not a clean place. The industry is rife with drugs, sex, abuse, sexual harassment, violence and what not. The life and career of every other big star is riddled with news of getting into public fights, verbal abuse, controversial court cases, even prison. Take Mark Wahlberg, he did time in juvenile prison for being a neo-Nazi white supremacist who attacked blacks. Take Iron Man Robert Downey Jr, he had been to prison for being in possession of heroin, cocaine, and a handgun. And most recently, the live on-stage violence by Will Smith. But you will not see the whole world talking about the worst aspects of these actors at the slightest mention of their name. You will not come across hundreds of people on Twitter still talking about Downey’s tryst with drugs every time an Avengers movie comes. But Jeremy Renner, whose career is sparkling clean, he never had a brush with law and order, never misbehaved in public, never broke anything else but his own bones while doing superb action scenes and stunts, gets dragged into random events of the world.
Should it flatter him that the public just cannot stop talking about him? Perhaps it should.
Personalities such as Jeremy Renner have this thing about them which triggers reaction. People just cannot understand him, he is not a part of celebrity song and dance routine, so all they can do is hate him. I know this because I am like that in a different field. I am sure he does not bother himself with any of this. He could not care less about what Twitter is saying about him and why but I cannot stop having a nagging thought that a little bit of people’s love would not hurt him. Had I been in his place I would have wanted to be understood.