James Cameron has been in the news a lot lately, mostly for positive reasons. He is finally getting those long- awaited Avatar sequels off the ground, he has the rights to Terminator back, and Terminator 2: Judgement Day is returning to cinemas in all its 3D glory.
Except Cameron just put his foot in it, as he unveiled some his controversial take on the success of Wonder Woman.
“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided,” he told the Guardian. “She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing!”
Cameron then decided to claim that his own famous female hero had solved Hollywood’s problem.
“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.”
The fact that Cameron has labelled the first truly well-regarded female-fronted superhero film, even firing “Male gaze” criticism at it because he think Gal Gadot is nothing more than attractive.
“And to me, [the benefit of characters like Connor] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female! [H]ow many times do I have to demonstrate the same thing over again? I feel like I’m shouting in a wind tunnel.”
Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins took to Twitter to respond to the world’s most successful director’s complaints about not being heard.
“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 own 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 multi-dimensional 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 judge their own icons of progress.”
Maybe if Arnie played Steve Trevor Cameron wouldn’t be so cross.