When Wonder Woman was named United Nations Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls on October 21, her new position was met with heartfelt support by her fans, and protest by those who felt she was a poor role model for young women. Chosen to promote U.N. Sustainable Development Goal #5, which has a stated mission to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls,” the hero, who is currently celebrating her 75th Anniversary, was met with silent protest at her ceremony, which saw a number of people stand with their backs to the proceedings, some with clenched fists raised in the air.
Considering the opposition to Wonder Woman’s role — over 600 United Nations staff members signed an online petition asking Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to reconsider the decision before the ceremony — it’s only logical that fans’ first reaction when the announcement that her tenure was over was to bemoan the fact that the protestors were successful in their campaign to remove the character from her honorary post. According to the U.N., that may not be the case, though.
“We always knew it would end in December,” United Nations official Jeffrey Brez told NPR in a phone interview. “Soon after the launch [on October 21] we said, what day should it actually end on? And we decided on December 16 because after that, the holidays were coming up, and it didn’t make sense to continue the campaign into the holiday season.”
However, not only is this the first time the Dec. 16 end date for the character’s run as ambassador has been mentioned publicly, it also goes against earlier statements made by DC Comics and the U.N.
Maher Nasser, who helmed the collaboration between DC Entertainment and the U.N., originally said, “As long as there’s momentum in the campaign we’ll move forward. They have committed to a year.” Nasser released this statement to NPR in October, when the partnership was first unveiled.
Despite her short tenure as ambassador, DC Comics’ planned special-edition “Wonder Woman” comic focusing on the empowerment of women and girls will still see release in Spring 2017. “Wonder Woman stands for peace, justice and equality,” said DC Entertainment spokesperson Courtney Simmons of the comic. “[F]or 75 years she has been a motivating force for many, and will continue to be long after the conclusion of her U.N. honorary ambassadorship.”