James Cameron, a man to whom I turn regularly for his opinions, has offered his very hot take on Wonder Woman and feminism. Would you like to hear it?
In an interview with the Guardian on the occasion of the 3D version of Terminator 2 coming to theaters, Cameron shocks no one with this salty and self-referential take:
“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!”
Cameron, who is currently in the throes of making four fucking Avatar sequels, makes a semi-valid point about Wonder Woman—a thoroughly entertaining movie directed by a woman that was maybe twenty minutes too long. His take is a little less nuanced than Zoe Heller’s review of the film in the New York Review of Books that touches on this same question. It’s also irritating when you consider his answer to the inevitable followup: if movies like Wonder Woman still aren’t depicting powerful female characters in a way that makes sense, how do you solve that problem?
For the first time, Cameron is lost for words. “I don’t – I don’t know. There are many women in power in Hollywood and they do get to guide and shape what films get made. 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!”
Maybe we don’t need James Cameron’s opinion on whether or not Wonder Woman is feminist. But not because he’s a man—it’s because he’s kind of a dick.