Avengers fans are in an uproar amid rumors that Robert Downey Jr. unfollowed all of his former co-stars from the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Instagram. Downey Jr. played Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man for over a decade in the superhero film franchise, though he departed after Avengers: Endgame. If he did unfollow Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and all the others, it's unclear why.
Fans began posting about Downey Jr. unfollowing his MCU co-stars earlier this month, though it's hard to verify each claim independently. At the time of this writing, Downey Jr. does not follow any of the other MCU stars, but we can't say for sure when he unfollowed them, or whether he was ever following all of them in the first place. Many fans have pointed out that Downey Jr. is unlikely to run his own social media accounts, at least not without help.
Fans also pointed out that Downey Jr.'s long-time assistant, Jimmy Rich passed away in a car accident back in May, as reported by Just Jared. Fans speculated that whoever is running Downey Jr.'s social media pages in Rich's place is trying to curate the "following" lists more carefully, perhaps prioritizing new projects over old ones.
Whatever the explanation, fans are dying to hear from someone — whether it's drama amongst the Avengers or reassurance that Downey Jr. still loves his castmates. Here's a look at what fans are saying across social media.
he was good at acting like their friend— fiedel craft acylation🇵🇸 (@a_nice_prson) July 2, 2021
he's an actor after all
For some fans, the off-screen friendship of the Avengers cast was an endearing part of the franchise. Others argued that it was just a promotional tool, which has now served its purpose. They predicted that the group would continue to splinter and go their separate ways.prevnext
I don't know what's happening Mr Stark... WHYYY DID YOUU UNFOLLOW THE MARVEL CAST ON INSTAGRAM?😭😫 pic.twitter.com/QgpavjwKYU— pietraa | bw and loki era ⧗❤️ (@pietraromanoff) July 1, 2021
Others went directly to Downey Jr. himself, leaving comments on his posts asking for an explanation.prevnext
I have no doubt he still keeps in touch, it's not like there's hostility here— MysterySteve 'Stevieboy' The Passable Cartoonist (@MysterySteve) July 6, 2021
Whatever his follower list said, there were many fans who said they were confident that Downey Jr. was still on friendly terms with his co-stars.prevnext
Not this whole comment section thinking it’s the end of the world like celebrities don’t clear their whole following list all the for special projects. 😂 & yall acting like he can only contact them through IG? YALL NEED TO PUT THE PHONES DOWN FOR A WHILE!!— Miracle🕊💙🕊 (@miracleeannee) July 2, 2021
Some fans asserted that this was actually pretty common practice for celebrities like Downey Jr. They claimed to know of other circumstances where A-listers did the same thing at the end of a major project.prevnext
He is so damn expensive...That's why— Adam (@AdamPattDD) July 8, 2021
Adding to the drama was the fact that fans just learned Downey Jr. did not voice Tony Stark in the new animated MCU series What If...?prevnext
If RDJ is moving on, he should consider getting into DCEU project. He could pull off as Vandal Savage. He definitely have the charisma & older look. He technically already a foot in with Sweet Tooth.— Mizzuyama (水山) (@mizzusomething) July 6, 2021
Some fans wanted to see Downey Jr. go even further and get involved with DC Comics adaptations. They thought this kind of competition would be healthy for the genre.prevnext
Unfollowing somebody on social media but still having their phone number is like... not the tea you think it is.— Serocco (@Serocco3) July 7, 2021
Finally, some fans argued that it was meaningless for Downey Jr. to unfollow his co-stars on social media since they are all too famous to use the platforms in a conventional way. They figured those stars were more likely to rely on phone numbers than Instagram handles.prev