Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins isn’t surprised by James Cameron’s recent criticism.
Cameron recently told the Guardian that he did not agree with the general reception of Wonder Woman. Though it has smashed box office records and has been praised for its messages of female empowerment, the director insisted the movie was a step backward.
“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. Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon. 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!”
Shortly after Cameron’s remarks made headlines, Jenkins went to Twitter with an incredible response. She explained that not all female characters had to be “hard, tough, and troubled to be strong”; and perhaps the reason Cameron failed to see this was because he’s a man.
“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 in message posted on Twitter. “Strong women are great. His praise of my film Monster, and our portrayal of a strong yet damaged woman was so appreciated. 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 haven’t come very far have we. I believe women can and should be EVERYTHING just like male lead characters should be. There is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman. And the massive female audience who made the film a hit it is, can surely choose to judge their own icons of progress.”
Since its release in early June, Wonder Woman has smashed multiple records and has grossed more than $800 million worldwide. Variety also reports Warner Bros. will launch an Oscar campaign for the film, which means it could become the first comic book movie to earn a Best Picture nomination.
Wonder Woman 2 was confirmed earlier this summer, and is scheduled to hit U.S. theaters Dec. 19, 2019.