Fans and critics alike seem to love Wonder Woman, but James Cameron has ignited a controversy with his new slam of the film. During an interview with the Guardian, the Oscar-winning director made the case that the movie is getting unwarranted credit for having a strong female lead. "All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood's been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided," he says. The superhero character is 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." As a post at Comicbook.com explains, that has set off an avalanche of criticism from fans accusing Cameron of "mansplaining" and generally being out of step on this one. On Thursday night, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins weighed in on the controversy via Twitter, notes Variety.
"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,” she writes. Cameron is known for putting strong female characters in his action films, notes Entertainment Weekly. (Think Sigourney Weaver in Aliens.) And in the Guardian interview, Cameron suggested that his Sarah Connor character in Terminator was a better role model than Wonder Woman because she "was not a beauty icon" and "earned the respect of the audience through pure grit." But Jenkins pushed back on that. "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,” she writes.