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James Cameron Calls ‘Wonder Woman’ a ‘Step Backwards’ for Female Protagonists

Wonder Woman” may have received overwhelmingly positives notices, was a box office behemoth, and is even getting an Oscar push from Warner Bros., but it has one high-profile critic.

In an interview with the Guardian, James Cameron took on a different tone, taking aim at the way the iconic superhero, played by Gal Gadot, was portrayed.

“All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over ‘Wonder Woman’ has been so misguided,” he told the outlet in an interview to promote the “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” re-release. “She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing!”

Cameron has been recognized for his female protagonists, including Rose (Kate Winslet) in “Titanic,” Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) in “Avatar,” and perhaps most notably, Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) in “Terminator.”

“I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards,” he continued. “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!”

While “Wonder Woman” has been generally praised for portraying its title character (and her fellow Amazonians) as a powerful, complex female figure, it’s received its fair share of criticism, too. Director Patty Jenkins addressed those concerns in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in May, telling the publication, “I get frustrated by people who think that they’re defending [Wonder Woman] by trying to make her lesser. When people get super critical about her outfit, who’s the one getting crazy about what a woman wears? That’s who she is; that’s Wonder Woman. I want her to look like my childhood fantasy.”

But, still Cameron makes it clear that he continues to be all for women being represented in film.

“There are many women in power in Hollywood and they do get to guide and shape what films get made,” Cameron said. “I think – no, I can’t account for it. Because how many times do I have to demonstrate the same thing over again? I feel like I’m shouting in a wind tunnel!”

Variety has reached out to Cameron’s camp for comment.

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