- The Washington Times - Friday, August 25, 2017

Film director James Cameron appears annoyed by the feminist praise heaped on Patty Jenkins‘ new film “Wonder Woman,” saying the film’s portrayal of lead character Diana was a “step backwards” for women.

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

“She’s an objectified icon, and 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. [‘Terminator’s’] 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!”

Mr. Cameron had trouble explaining why Hollywood directors, him excluded, still do such a bad job at portraying powerful women.

“I don’t — I don’t know,” he said. “There are many women in power in Hollywood and they do get to guide and shape what films get made. I think — no, I can’t account for it. Because how many times do I have to demonstrate the same thing over again? I feel like I’m shouting in a wind tunnel!”

Ms. Jenkins wasn’t amused by Mr. Cameron’s criticism. She posted a statement on Twitter Thursday night saying Mr. Cameron can’t possibly understand “Wonder Woman’s” importance because he is a man.

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,” she wrote. “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,” she said. “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.”

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