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The director of Wonder Woman has hit back at James Cameron after he criticised the film as “a step backwards”.
Mr Cameron, an Oscar-winner best known for Titanic, Avatar and Terminator, told the Guardian “all of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided”.
He was asked what he thought about the 2017 film, which stars Israeli actress Gal Gadot, given that he had cast powerful women in leading roles for his films.
He said: “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.
“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!”
Patty Jenkins, who directed Wonder Woman, hit back on Twitter.
She wrote: “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.”
The United Nations named Wonder Woman as an Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls in 2016, prompting a harsh backlash from critics saying a real-life woman should make the representation.
A petition was launched, slamming the decision to use the “large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions” as ambassador for women.
The petition led the UN to drop the plans.
Wonder Woman first appeared in DC Comics in 1941 as a heroine fighting villains, rescuing victims and unearthing evil plots.