Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins has hit back at fellow filmmaker James Cameron’s criticisms of the movie, claiming that he has an “inability to understand what Wonder Woman is or stands for.”

Cameron, behind massive blockbusters like Titanic and Avatar, said in an interview via The Guardian on Friday (August 25th) that Jenkins’ depiction of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was a “step backwards” and that the reaction to it from the film industry was just “self-congratulatory back-patting”.

“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 said, then pointing to his own Terminator film for a better example of what he meant.

Patty JenkinsPatty Jenkins

“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. And to me, [the benefit of characters like Sarah] is so obvious. I mean, half the audience is female,” he said.

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“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 film-maker, he is not a woman,” she wrote on Twitter a few hours later.

While Jenkins acknowledged Cameron’s praise for her 2003 film Monster – which starred Charlize Theron as real-life killer Aileen Wuornos – she argued that strong women had to be portrayed in different ways.

James CameronJames Cameron

“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,” she said.

“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 [the] hit it is, can surely choose and judge their own icons of progress.”

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