James Cameron Says He Stands By His ‘Wonder Woman’ Critique

James Cameron says he stands by his controversial statement that Wonder Woman is a step backwards for women in Hollywood.

In a new interview just published in The Hollywood Reporter, Cameron did not walk back his comments from last month at all, now adding that Gal Gadot was a sex object in Wonder Woman and therefore the movie is not revolutionary.

“I mean, she was Miss Israel, and she was wearing a kind of bustier costume that was very form-fitting,” Cameron said. “She’s absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. To me, that’s not breaking ground. They had Raquel Welch doing stuff like that in the ’60s. It was all in a context of talking about why Sarah Connor — what Linda created in 1991 — was, if not ahead of its time, at least a breakthrough in its time. I don’t think it was really ahead of its time because we’re still not [giving women these types of roles].”

James Cameron wearing a black dress shirt, speaking into a microphone

James Cameron | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Cameron was then asked how he responds to Patty Jenkins saying that women can be strong and beautiful at the same time, and they don’t always have to be “hard” and “troubled” like Sarah Connor. Cameron responded by saying that Linda Hamilton still looked beautiful in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a movie of his that he considers to be better for women than Wonder Woman.

“Linda looked great,” Cameron 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. 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.”

Cameron went on to say that he thinks Hollywood is still in the mindset of having to appeal to teenage boys when making action films and that this was the case with Wonder Woman. He did, however, say his comments were somewhat simplistic.

“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,” he said.

Patty Jenkins in June 2017

Patty Jenkins in June 2017. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Back in August, James Cameron stirred up some controversy when he said in an interview that not only was Wonder Woman not a breakthrough film but that it’s actually a step backwards for women.

“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided,” Cameron told The Guardian. “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. Sarah Connor was not a beauty icon.”

Director Patty Jenkins quickly responded on Twitter, saying that she’s not surprised that James Cameron doesn’t understand the movie and adding that women should be able to play all sorts of characters, from a tough and gritty one like Sarah Connor to a beautiful goddess like Diana Prince.

“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. “I believe women can and should be EVERYTHING just like male lead characters should be.”