UPDATE: TV’s original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, wrote a fiery response via Facebook: “To James Cameron -STOP dissing WW: You poor soul. Perhaps you do not understand the character. I most certainly do. Like all women–we are more than the sum of our parts. Your thuggish jabs at a brilliant director, Patty Jenkins, are ill advised. This movie was spot on. Gal Gadot was great. I know, Mr. Cameron–because I have embodied this character for more than 40 years. So–STOP IT.”
James Cameron stands by his original critique of the Patty Jenkins-directed blockbuster, Wonder Woman, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In August, the Avatar director said the movie was a “step backwards” for women in Hollywood in an interview with the Guardian.
“Yes, I’ll stand by that,” Cameron said of calling the titular character as an “objectified icon.” “I mean, [Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot] was Miss Israel and she was wearing a kind of bustier costume that was very form-fitting. She’s absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. To me, that’s not breaking ground. They had Raquel Welch doing stuff like that in the Sixties.”
Cameron pointed to Linda Hamilton’s role of Sarah Connor in his Terminator films as an example of a character who defied gendered stereotypes. “She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit,” Cameron said at the time. “And to me, [the benefits of characters like Sarah] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female!”
Cameron’s statements in his new interview with The Hollywood Reporter echo these beliefs. “Linda looked great,” he said. “She just wasn’t treated as a sex object. There was nothing sexual about her character. It was about angst, it was about will, it was about determination. She was crazy, she was complicated. … She wasn’t there to be liked or ogled, but she was central, and the audience loved her by the end of the film.”
Cameron, who will be teaming up with director Tim Miller for a reprise of Terminator due out in July 2019, further noted that the industry is still stymying women’s opportunities in positions of creative power.
“I just think Hollywood doesn’t get it about women in commercial franchises,” he said. “Drama, they’ve got that cracked, but the second they start to make a big commercial action film, they think they have to appeal to 18-year-old males or 14-year-old males, whatever it is. Look, it was probably a little bit of a simplistic remark on my part, and I’m not walking it back, but I will add a little detail to it, which is: I like the fact that, sexually, she had the upper hand with the male character, which I thought was fun.”
In August, Jenkins responded to Cameron’s remarks on Twitter, saying: “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.”