Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins called out James Cameron for his “inability to understand” the film.


In an interview with The Guardian, Cameron admitted he didn’t think that the superhero film was a step in the right direction for women, calling actress Gal Gadot‘s Wonder Woman “an objectified icon.”

“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over ‘Wonder Woman’ has been so misguided. It’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing!” he said. “I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards.” Cameron took it upon himself to describe a female lead he thought was better handled – Sarah Connor in his own directed film Terminator. “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,” he said. “To me, [the benefit of characters like Sarah] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”

Wonder Woman set a new record for opening-weekend female-directed features, raking in more than $100 million. Fans hailed it a success, especially female fans. In a tweet late Thursday, Jenkins responded to Cameron’s critique of the portrayal of the heroine.

“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,” her statement began. “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.”

Jenkins has previously explained her passion behind making Wonder Woman. “It got lost in this strange belief system that action movies were only for boys and that superheroes were only for boys,” she explained. “[But] comics have always had a bunch of great female characters and a bunch of great female superheroes. I think [Wonder Woman] is the grand, classic superhero… of which there are very few,” Jenkins continued. “Many of the superheroes stand for different, smaller things. She is a hero: uncomplicated, loving, kind. Also sexy, cool, tough, badass.”

Warner Bros. has recently announced a Wonder Woman sequel will hit theaters Dec. 13, 2019.

Read more about: