Director Patty Jenkins has responded to criticism of Wonder Woman by James Cameron, who referred to its heroine as "an objectified icon" and the hit film as "a step backwards."
"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," Jenkins tweeted late Thursday. "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," she continued. "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."
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) August 25, 2017
Cameron, the Oscar-winning director famed for such blockbusters as The Terminator, Titanic and Avatar, referred to the "self-congratulatory back-patting" for Wonder Woman as "so misguided." "She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing!" he said in an interview. "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!”
Wonder Woman has earned $800 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing live-action film directed by a woman. Domestically, it's the top-grossing installment of Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe.
Available Aug. 29 on Digital HD and Sept. 19 on Blu-ray and DVD, Wonder Woman stars Gadot as Diana, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Robin Wright as General Antiope, Danny Huston as General Erich Ludendorff, David Thewlis as Ares, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Elena Anaya as Doctor Poison, and Lucy Davis as Etta Candy. Wonder Woman 2 is slated to hit theaters Dec. 13, 2019.