Legendary director James Cameron has made some eye raising statements about DC’s smash hit film Wonder Woman, suggesting the film is not the progressive, feminist triumph it’s been widely hailed as, but actually objectifies women. USA TODAY
Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins shot back quickly after director James Cameron criticized her groundbreaking summer film as “a step backwards” for Hollywood.
Jenkins took to Twitter Thursday night to defend her critically praised box office hit.
“James Cameron’s inability to understand what Wonder Woman is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great filmmaker, he is not a woman,” Jenkins wrote. “Strong women are great.”
Jenkins noted that Cameron had praised her 2003 film Monster, featuring Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos.
“But if women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren’t free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we have not come very far,” Jenkins wrote. “There is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman.”
With Gal Gadot starring as DC Comic’s Wonder Woman in the biggest hit movie of the summer with $800 million worldwide, Jenkins added, “the massive female audience who made the film the hit it is, can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress.”
Cameron made his comments in an interview with the British newspaper, The Guardian.
“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided,” Cameron said. “She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing! I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards.”
Fans on Twitter applauded Jenkins response.
Industry website Deadline reports Jenkins is nearing a historic deal to helm the Wonder Woman sequel. “The movie … not only re-invigorated DC movies and the studio itself, but became a symbol of strength for women across the country,” the report stated.
In the Guardian interview, Cameron name-checked female roles he created, like Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor in The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
“Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon,” he said. “She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit. And to me, (the benefit of characters like Sarah) is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”
The Guardian then asked: So why are movies still so bad when it comes to depicting powerful women?
“I don’t — I don’t know,” Cameron replied. “There are many women in power in Hollywood and they do get to guide and shape what films get made. I think — no, I can’t account for it. Because how many times do I have to demonstrate the same thing over again? I feel like I’m shouting in a wind tunnel!”