In an interview with The Guardian, James Cameron unleashed a social media backlash after criticizing Wonder Woman.
‘All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided. 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,’ Cameron said.
Unlike some directors who refer to themselves as feminists, Cameron has made a career out of showcasing strong female characters. Cameron referenced his Terminator 2: Judgment Day character Sarah Connor in the interview. Cameron said Sarah wasn’t a beauty icon, was troubled and was a terrible mother, but strong enough to win over the audience.
Cameron’s got a point..to an extent. Part of what made Sarah so memorable was she didn’t need rescuing. Sarah was perfectly capable of fending for herself while having flaws. Call her the original anti-Mary Sue. Another classic Cameron character, Ripley from Aliens, also deviated from the norm of the 80s era action star.
What Cameron is missing though is Wonder Woman is a superhero. And heroes don’t have to be so bogged down with emotional baggage that they can’t be inspiring.
The even bigger mistake Cameron made is trying to establish rules for what a female action hero has to look like. Just in the same way that Ripley and Sarah differed from each other Guardians of the Galaxy’s Gamora was different from Atomic Blonde’s Lorraine Broughton.
Can you imagine the lunacy of someone complaining that Iron Man was a step backwards for action heroes and used Luke Skywalker as the reference?
Bottom line, there’s more than enough lanes in the action hero highway for Wonder Woman to ride without having to try and be more like Sarah Connor, Katniss, Princess Leia or anyone else.