Patty Jenkins: James Cameron’s Inability to Understand ‘Wonder Woman’ is Unsurprising

After James Cameron criticized Wonder Woman for objectifying its lead character, director Patty Jenkins says that she is not surprised that Cameron is unable to understand the movie.

In a statement released on Twitter, Jenkins said on Friday that James Cameron is a great filmmaker, but his recent comments about Wonder Woman are misguided.

“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,” Jenkins writes.

Patty Jenkins makes the Wonder Woman X with her arms on the red carper

Patty Jenkins | Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Turner

Jenkins goes on to say that female characters don’t always have to be tough and gritty, and there’s nothing wrong with a woman hero being beautiful 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 writes. “I believe women can and should be EVERYTHING just like male lead characters should be.”

Jenkins concludes by saying that there is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman, and she says she’ll let the “massive female audience” of Wonder Woman judge whether the movie is progress.

Hours before Jenkins’ statement, The Guardian released an interview with James Cameron in which the Avatar director says that Wonder Woman is actually a step backwards for women in film.

“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided,” Cameron said. “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.”

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

James Cameron | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Cameron brought up Sarah Connor, the lead character of his Terminator movies, and said that she is not a “beauty icon” the way that Wonder Woman is.

“She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit,” Cameron said.

In response, Jenkins says that there’s room for all kinds of female characters in film and that there’s nothing wrong with a protagonist being attractive and loving rather than troubled and gritty.