'Suicide Squad' Director David Ayer Responds to Criticism Over Harley Quinn Portrayal

David Ayer, the director and writer behind 2016's 'Suicide Squad​​​​​​​,' has addressed criticism over how he portrayed Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. 

David Ayer and Margot Robbie

Image via Getty/Thaddaeus McAdams

David Ayer and Margot Robbie

David Ayer, the director and writer behind 2016's Suicide Squad, has addressed criticism over how he portrayed Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. When a fan accused Ayer of depicting Quinn as nothing more than "eyecandy" in the film, he said that he tried his best to make the character "comic book accurate," but he still wants to "do better" in the future.

"Sadly her story arc was eviscerated," he replied, possibly hinting at all the changes Warner Bros. made to the film before it hit theaters. "It was her movie in so many ways. Look I tried. I rendered Harley comic book accurate. Everything is political now. Everything. I just want to entertain. I will do better." 

In response, one fan told him that the way he portrayed the character was overtly political anyway. "A female character in an abusive relationship is already political, my dude," they wrote. "The way your camera looked at her was political. The way you used her was political. You treated her as an object and she still rose above it. That was political too." Retweeting the comments, Ayer added, "Retweeting because this very thoughtfully written. Thank you for this. I am growing and learning in a changing world."

Last year, Ayer was more blunt and open about his experiences working on the project than ever before. He shared a photo from what appeared to be a deleted scene from the movie, making it clear that the movie that came out was not the movie he wanted to make. "If you change the destination after the trip is complete is it still the same journey?" he asked. "The spine of Suicide Squad was Harley's journey. In many ways it was her movie, her escaping her relationship with Joker was the major emotional through line."

When he continued to receive criticism for how the film turned out, he said outright that it was not his "original vision" that made it to theaters. The follow-up to the film, directed by James Gunn of Guardians of the Galaxy fame, is scheduled to release next year. Ayer, meanwhile, has been busy working on his new film The Tax Collector starring Shia LaBeouf.

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