James Cameron recently caused a stir after criticizing the portrayal of Wonder Woman in the box office smash hit film, revealing that he thought that the film was a "step backwards" for the representation of strong women. However, the director of the film, Patty Jenkins, has now responded to his comments, writing that women can "choose and judge their own icons of progress".
Speaking in an interview with the Guardian, the Titanic director said: "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. [Terminator's] 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!"
In a response posted to Twitter, Patty wrote: "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. Strong women are great. His praise for 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 or wrong kind of powerful woman. And the massive female audience who made the film the hit it is, can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress."
Fans were quick to praise Patty's insight, with one writing: "As a man, I'm disappointed by James Cameron's comment about #WonderWoman. I for one thought that Wonder Woman was incredible and inspiring," while another added: "Women do not always have to be broken to show our capabilities. As a fan of Cameron, I'm disappointed."