Patty Jenkins Responds To James Cameron: He Doesn't 'Understand What Wonder Woman Stands For'
On Thursday, director James Cameron took a shot at Wonder Woman, this summer's blockbuster that has been celebrated for not only being a success, but for being a watershed moment in Hollywood with a female-led production. Cameron told The Guardian he didn't understand the "self-congratulatory back-patting" around its success.
"She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing!" Cameron mansplained, adding: "I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards. [The 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!"
Director Patty Jenkins swung back on Twitter, correctly pointing out that a woman doesn't need to be damaged and troubled to be strong:
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 film-maker, 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 a hit it is, can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress.
Many others chimed in as well:
"James Cameron says Wonder Woman is a step backwards" is a headline from my personal parody newspaper.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) August 25, 2017
I think of James Cameron exclusively as "that dude who didn't manage to hold Kathryn Bigelow down."— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) August 25, 2017
I want to hear James Cameron's thoughts on feminism about as much as I want to see two more Avatar movies— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) August 25, 2017