Patty Jenkins Fires Back Against James Cameron’s ‘Wonder Woman’ Criticism
Do you hear that far-off sizzling? You getting a hit of that rich, savory aroma? That’s the smell of 100% USDA Grade-A beef, friends, and it’s wafting in from the uppermost levels of Hollywood. James Cameron said some rather critical things about Wonder Woman’s feminist bona fides in a recent interview with The Guardian (a publication for which I also write, in the interest of full disclosure), describing the character as an “objectified icon” and a “step backwards” from his Sarah Connor. Director Patty Jenkins did not feel similarly, and made that much clear in a post on Twitter last night.
Jenkins felt that Diana Prince isn’t less valid as a womanly exemplar just because she happens to be tall and oppressively good-looking. In a passage screenshotted and tweeted on Thursday night, she called for a more elastic definition of what female characters can be:
Jenkins gets out in front of the situation by suggesting that Cameron has merely misunderstood her, and eliding any explicit mention of misogyny. She takes a less politicized stance, making the entirely reasonable argument that because womankind is not a monolith, it doesn’t make sense for there to be one prescribed way to depict it. She echoes the sentiments of actresses calling for an expansion beyond the “strong female character” type to include women as kind and untroubled as Diana, women who might not necessarily be likable, and women who are barely holding it together.
The response online has sided overwhelmingly with Jenkins, concurring that imposing such a narrow definition of womanhood on the movies would be the real step backwards. And at any rate, this is already the best kind of Hollywood mini-feud, because it’s the kind where both parties can go home and cry into a large mound of money.