Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins has hit back at James Cameron and his “inability to understand” the character after he commented that the superhero film was a “step backwards”.
Avatar and Titanic director Cameron had said, in an interview with The Guardian, that he felt the character of Wonder Woman is “an objectified icon”, and that the praise within Hollywood about the film has been “so misguided”.
Jenkins responded with a post on Twitter, in which she said that women must be free to not always be “hard, tough and troubled to be strong”.
The director – whose film, starring Gal Gadot in the title role, is one of the most successful of 2017 so far – added “there is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman”.
She 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 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.”
Jenkins continued: “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 and judge their own icons of progress.”
Cameron had said, when asked about the excitement over Wonder Woman: “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!”