James Cameron, in an interview with The Guardian, recently made a remark about Wonder Woman‘s success that some took as a potshot at the movie which includes the movie’s director, Patty Jenkins, who took to Twitter to respectfully disagree with his stance. Here’s what Cameron said in the interview:
“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!”
And here is how Patty Jenkins responded:
“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 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 the hit it is, can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress.”
Considering James Cameron’s history of using strong female protagonists throughout his films, this remark, much like the recent revelations about Joss Whedon, is truly disconcerting, as it shows though one may seem progressive, their words and actions may show another version of who they truly are.