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‘Wonder Woman’ Director Patty Jenkins Responds to James Cameron Saying Film Was a ‘Step Backwards’

Patty Jenkins
Patty Jenkins attends the AFI Life Achievement Award gala in 2017. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Not staying silent. Patty Jenkins responded to James Cameron after he slammed her film Wonder Woman for objectifying women.

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“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided,” the Titanic director, 63, told The Guardian in an interview published on Thursday, August 24. “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.”

James Cameron
James Cameron attends the premiere of “Sanctum” at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

The award-winning filmmaker then compared Wonder Woman’s characteristics to the female lead in his Terminator franchise. “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 be, [the benefit of characters like Sarah] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”

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Jenkins, 46, took to Twitter shortly after to address and respond to the Avatar director’s remarks. “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,” she wrote. “His praise of my film Monster and our portrayal of a strong yet damaged woman was so appreciated. But if women always have to 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.”

Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins and Lynda Carter
Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins and Lynda Carter attend the premiere “Wonder Woman” at the Pantages Theatre in 2017. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

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The screenwriter then gave her definition of an impactful female lead. “I believe women can and should be EVERYTHING just like male lead characters should be. There is no right and wrong kind of powerful women,” she continued. “And the massive female audience who made the film a hit it is, can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress.”

Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot, retweeted Jenkins’ statement. 

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