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James Cameron "clarifies" Wonder Woman statements

09.27.2017

So a while back James Cameron made some disparaging remarks about the recent WONDER WOMAN film, saying that the hero was just "an objectified icon" and that the film as a whole was "a step backwards". Obviously WONDER WOMAN director Patty Jenkins wasn't going to take those remarks lying down, and responded with this tweet:

Now, in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cameron was asked to respond to Jenkin's response that "not every woman character has to look 'hard, troubled and tough to be strong'", to which Cameron replied:

Linda [Hamilton, who played Sarah Connor in THE TERMINATOR films] looked great. 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. So as much as I applaud Patty directing the film and Hollywood, uh, "letting" a woman direct a major action franchise, I didn't think there was anything groundbreaking in Wonder Woman. I thought it was a good film. Period. I was certainly shocked that [my comment] was a controversial statement. It was pretty obvious in my mind. I just think Hollywood doesn't get it about women in commercial franchises. 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.

Okay, a lot to parse out here. Obviously I disagree with Cameron. But to give him some benefit of the doubt, I think I see his main point, which is a perceived feeling that male studio heads dictated the direction of Wonder Woman - such as her being attractive, wearing revealing armor, engaging in over-the-top action sequences - with his comment "I just think Hollywood doesn't get it about women in commercial franchises...they think they have to appeal to 18-year-old males or 14-year-old males". Which, if that was the case (and has been for other female superhero movies, including failed Wonder Woman projects), would make sense. But he misses the point of Jenkins' response (which doesn't seem like he saw, or if he did, didn't recall), where she says, "there is no right or wrong kind of powerful woman", which I agree with. Wonder Woman was created to be a feminist icon before that term even existed (even if subsequent decades diluted that fact until somewhat recently), and the fact that she was beautiful, strong, smart, and everything in-between - not too different from other heroes like Superman - was the point. Lest we forget that Sarah Connor was a damsel-in-distress for 99% of TERMINTOR and sexually-assaulted in TERMINATOR 2 (I love both those movies, and Connor is indeed an all-time badass, but Jenkins does have a point that women shouldn't always have to be "hard, tough, and troubled to be strong", which is indeed limiting).

It is surely disappointing that Cameron doesn't understand - or refuses to understand - the appeal of Wonder Woman, and even worse seems to imply that Jenkins was a figurehead (with the comment about "Hollywood, uh, 'letting' a woman direct a major action franchise") and that Jenkins didn't have any say of her own (which the account of her fighting for the "No Man's Land" sequence and doing a page one rewrite with Geoff Johns refutes). Honestly, I think the success and the positive response from female fans shouldn've been enough. 

Oh well. At least he overall liked the film and enjoyed the fact that "sexually, [Wonder Woman] had the upper hand with the male character". which was indeed fun. 

Meanwhile you can buy WONDER WOMAN on DVD/Blu-Ray right now!

Extra Tidbit: I can't wait for Cameron's hot-take on Captain Marvel...*eye roll*
Source: THR

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