The Guardian’s interview with James Cameron, which posted online yesterday, was already in Titanic-level troubled waters. He had begun to air out his thoughts on women, in the context of his past relationships with director Kathryn Bigelow and actor Linda Hamilton.
“Being attracted to strong independent women has the downside that they’re strong independent women – they inherently don’t need you!”
Things only went further south from there, however. After discussing some of the tough female leads in his past films–including Hamilton in Terminator 2 and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in The Abyss–interviewer Hadley Freeman pressed the director for his thoughts about this year’s superhero smash, Wonder Woman. Then, this happened:
“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. 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!”
This quote spurred a lot of women to vent their frustrations with Cameron and defend Wonder Woman online. Perhaps the most eloquent statement on the matter, however, came from that film’s director, Patty Jenkins, who tweeted this response late last night:
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) August 25, 2017
It’s a sterling example of how to shut down insulting criticism with class.