James Cameron has been known throughout his career for featuring strong women in his films. Think Sarah Connor in the Terminator films, or Ripley in Aliens. In a recent interview with the Guardian he came out and criticized the recent superhero film Wonder Woman, stating “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.” He went on to say that his character Sarah Connor “was not a beauty icon. She was wrong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit.” After Twitter took a stab at criticizing Cameron for his comments, many of whom called his remarks sexist, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins had something to say about it as well.
Jenkins took to Twitter on Thursday night to release a statement on Cameron’s comments. She stated “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 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.”
It’s yet to be seen if anything further will come from this, but for the meantime the debate will continue.
Jenkins recently signed on to direct the sequel to Wonder Woman, which is due out in 2019, while Cameron is busy at work on his Avatar sequels.