When Wonder Woman slayed the box office this year, it served as a triumphant announcement of female strength in film. The year has been full of other superhero films falling into stagnant creative slumps or outright bombing at the box office, yet director Patty Jenkins managed to make Gal Gadot shine as the Amazonian warrior goddess and give cinema a feminist badass not seen since Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa in the 2015 Mad Max: Fury Road film.
This all sounds great and the film has largely been celebrated but, with any strong female character or work or feminism, there comes an inevitable Male Opinion That Nobody Asked For. This time, that opinion comes from Hollywood director James Cameron, who had some things to say, as men do. On the subject of Wonder Woman, he mansplained this bit of knowledge:
“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided. 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!”
So, to recap, he bemoans the self-congratulatory back-patting of Hollywood and then proceeds to pat his own back over his strong female character Sarah Connor, who was “not a beauty icon.” It’s tough for him to be the beacon of progress for strong female characters in Hollywood and, for Cameron, it’s become like “shouting in a wind tunnel.” In response to this cringe-worthy statement from Cameron about her film, Jenkins clapped back with a statement that takes Cameron to task for his lack of understanding about multi-dimensional women. Read it in full, below:
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) August 25, 2017