It’s the Hollywood feud that no one saw coming. In late August, filmmaker James Cameron — who, of course, is known for his work with genuinely strong, unique female characters — came out against Patty Jenkins’ blockbuster “Wonder Woman” in a strange interview with The Guardian, in which he bemoaned “all of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood” did over the film, deeming the praise “so misguided.” By his estimation, “She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing” and a “step backwards.”
Now television’s original Lynda Carter has come out against Cameron, who recently double-downed on his thoughts in yet another new interview. She’s not happy, and we can’t blame her.
In a new chat with The Hollywood Reporter this week, Cameron again attempted to take the smash hit to task for, quite amusingly enough, not meeting his own standards of what a female superhero should be. First issue: star Gal Gadot is just too damn pretty. “She was Miss Israel, and she was wearing a kind of bustier costume that was very form-fitting,” he said. “She’s absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. To me, that’s not breaking ground.”
Cameron, eager to turn the conversation to his own work with female characters, most notably Linda Hamilton in his “Terminator” franchise, added: “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.”
For Cameron, it seems, female characters who are pretty or wear “form-fitting outfits” (seriously, what are you supposed to wear when you’re zipping through battle and literally turning the tide of war? pajamas? sweats? a onesie?) aren’t the kind of complicated, complex characters that he is interested in seeing on the big screen, or at least not interested in hailing as something groundbreaking.
Millions of women have a different take on that idea, including Carter, who took to Facebook to hit back at Cameron’s continued crusade to talk about how a boundary-busting female character just, eh, doesn’t really do it for him. “You poor soul. Perhaps you do not understand the character. I most certainly do,” she wrote. “Like all women–we are more than the sum of our parts.”
You can read Carter’s full statement below, and why not follow her on Facebook while you’re at it? (What a world.)
“Wonder Woman” is now available on home video.