The Oscar-winning director had some harsh criticism for the superhero flick during a recent interview with The Guardian. He went so far as to call the film "a step backwards" and to describe Hollywood's response to its success as "misguided."
"She's an objectified icon, and it's just male Hollywood doing the same old thing!" he said of the heroine. "I'm not saying I didn't like the movie but, to me, it's a step backwards."
While we won't argue that Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is the perfect feminist film, it seems extreme to suggest the movie is detrimental to women's representation or somehow worse than what we've already seen. At the very least, the movie was the first female-centric superhero blockbuster; it proved that women can carry a superhero movie -- big time.
Also problematic here is how Cameron juxtaposed the film with "The Terminator" to make his point. He brought up his film's heroine, Sarah Connor (Linda Howard), and said she was "not a beauty icon." Rather, he says, "she was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit."
Sure, Connor was tough and had many interesting character traits, but that is also true of Wonder Woman. Plus, it is hard to make the case that Connor was in no way objectified. (She did, after all, spend a lot of time running around bra-less.) Either way, though, whether or not a character is "a beauty icon" shouldn't be the litmus test. A character can be simultaneously sexy, strong, beautiful, and empowering.
Not surprisingly, reactions to Cameron's comments popped up quickly on Twitter.
I love James Cameron. I think he has the Midas Touch when it comes to filmmaking. But his take on Wonder Woman is dead wrong.— Scott Stamper (@DerfelBarada) August 24, 2017
James Cameron: "Wonder Woman objectified it's lead & was a step backwards from Sarah Connor."— Cher (@thecherness) August 24, 2017
Linda Hamilton: pic.twitter.com/jUeaNjOVpd
*reads only the headline*— Andrew Dyce™ (@andrewbdyce) August 24, 2017
"JAMES CAMERON IS THE ENEMY"
*reads actual quote*
"Oh I disagree, but I understand his position." pic.twitter.com/ARElPRHlck
I'll take "James Cameron tries to mansplain feminism AND fails to understand womanhood" for $200, Alex. https://t.co/WJ9XUbPoZ6— Dened Rey (@Hajabeg) August 24, 2017
James Cameron: Wonder Woman objectified its star & was a step backwards— PROUD RESISTER 👊 (@ProudResister) August 24, 2017
Small men just can't handle women who are both BEAUTIFUL and STRONG
[sees those James Cameron comments] pic.twitter.com/bVZMxv1KVA— Shawn Madden (@shawnxmadden) August 24, 2017
James Cameron - we need nuanced women. Also James Cameron, my woman was better than their woman because she was a gritty bad mother. 😳— MJ Leaver 🏳️🌈 (@MJ_Leaver) August 24, 2017
"Wonder Woman" has some warriors on its side, that's for sure.
[via: The Guardian]