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Patty Jenkins Responds To James Cameron's Wonder Woman Criticism

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins strikes back at James Cameron, who on Thursday night called the critically acclaimed and commercially mega-successful movie a "step backwards" for female protagonists and feminism in film. 

Jenkins shared a sizable statement on Twitter that started strong: "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." 

This is in direct response to Cameron's comments that referred to "Hollywood's self-congratulatory back-patting" over Wonder Woman and the accolades it has received as "so misguided." Cameron said of Gal Gadot's Diana Prince in Jenkins' film, "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." 

He continued, turning to his character Sarah Connor (played by his now ex-wife Linda Hamilton) in the Terminator franchise as an example of the "proper" way to portray women on screen. "Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon," Cameron said. "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!"

Jenkins addressed these remarks in the remainder of her response. She also made a point to reference Cameron's past praise of her film Monster, in which Charlize Theron snagged the Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar for her gritty, dead-on interpretation of infamous serial killer Aileen Wuornos. For Jenkins' part, Cameron's previous commendation doesn't negate what he said about Wonder Woman. In fact, it serves to prove a much larger point about how "strong" female characters are defined. 

"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?" Jenkins wrote. 

She closed her rebuttal in the same powerful manner she opened it: "I believe women can and should be everything, just like male characters should be. There is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman. And the massive female audience who made the film a hit... can surely choose and judge their own icons of success."

Wonder Woman has been shattering records and surpassing benchmarks left and right since its June release. The film is currently the top-grossing live-action film directed by a woman, and was recently announced as the highest-earning superhero origin movie in domestic box office history, beating out Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man. Additionally, Jenkins is in final negotiations on a record-breaking deal to helm the Wonder Woman sequel, which would see her becoming the top-paid female director in Hollywood. 

It seems evident that though Cameron feels Wonder Woman was a step backwards, the only way for Jenkins and the upcoming Wonder Woman movie is forward. 

Wonder Woman 2 is set for a December 13, 2019 release date. In the meantime, check out the other movies we can't wait to see that year.