Director James Cameron made the news for some disparaging comments about Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins ripped him in response and rightfully so.
Cameron told The Guardian‘s Hadley Freeman:
“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!”
After the article was published on Thursday, Jenkins ripped Cameron a new one when the director of this summer’s blockbuster hit took to response over Twitter:
“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 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.”
There’s a lot that can be said on this. We’ve seen a lot of films with strong women over the last year or two alone. Whether they were the studio blockbusters or the indie films fighting for screen time, strong women in films are not going away but we shouldn’t have to deal with the sexism at play in Hollywood either.