The newly released Wonder Woman 1984 is receiving widespread attention on social media not for its action-packed, nostalgic ’80’s aesthetic but for its alleged racism and sexual assault.
The film, which stars actress Gal Gadot, is the second edition in the superhero franchise and was released over Christmas weekend to both theaters and streaming service HBO Max.
Partly set in 1980s Egypt, many viewers took to social media to point out the film’s offensive depictions of Egypt and its peoples, with one user accusing WW84 of being another “white glass ceiling feminist film” that glorifies white saviors.
“I’m stunned at how racist it was,” audio and culture journalist Ahmed Ali Akbar tweeted.
Another user noted how WW84 lived up to ’80s film tropes by “copypasting the shitty islamophobic scripts of that decade’s films,” tweeting stills from the film that portrays Emir Said Bin Abydos, an Egyptian Muslim man, who calls for a wall to be built around his country to keep out those “who dare trod upon it.”
Viewers were also upset over a scene where Wonder Woman saved four children from being killed via missile, which one Twitter user viewed as “grotesque.” That’s because they see Gadot as a hypocrite: In the past, she’s supported controversial airstrikes that have left children dead. One user pointed out an event in 2014 in which four young boys were hit and killed by an Israeli missile strike on Gaza Beach. Gadot, who served as an Israel Defense soldier, reportedly supported the bombing campaign.
Another scene users found troubling was a scene in which Wonder Woman has sex with love interest Steve Trevor, who body-swaps with another man. One user pointed out that, since the man whom Steve body-swapped with is unconscious, he cannot consent to the sex he engages in with the superhero.
“Using someone’s body without consent to anything is just bad,” the user tweeted.
Gadot and DC Comics have not appeared to respond to any of the criticism and concerns raised by viewers. This is not the first time, however, that the actress has faced backlash: Gadot is currently facing criticism after being cast as Cleopatra. Many believe her casting perpetuates Hollywood’s whitewashing of historical Egyptian figures.
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