'WW84 Might Be Feminist, but Very Racist': Breaking Down Everything That is Wrong With The Wonder Woman Movie

Published December 28th, 2020 - 08:23 GMT
'WW84 Might Be Feminist, but Very Racist': Breaking Down Everything Wrong With the Movie
WW84 slips in the typical negative stereotypes often shown in Hollywood movies, when it comes to representing Arabs. (Al Bawaba)

The new Wonder Woman movie has triggered many mixed reactions on social media following its premiere a few weeks ago. But for Arab commentators, the movie prompted lengthy notes over anti-Arab sentiments and racism witnessed in the famous film, even though the Israeli actress tries to speak Arabic a number of times throughout the movie.

Despite the considerable success of her first Wonder Woman film in 2017, Gal Gadot's latest titled Wonder Woman 1984, also known as WW84 received great lashing, mainly from Arab viewers. They pointed to the numerous examples of stereotypical portrayals of Arabs in the movie, particularly the scenes set in Egypt.

Feminism vs White Saviorism

While the Wonder Woman series is often applauded for its feminist stance, featuring a woman with superpowers, social media users highlighted a number of scenes where WW84 slips in the typical negative stereotypes often shown in Hollywood movies, when it comes to representing Arabs.

The different attempts of Diana Prince, played by Gal Gadot, to save innocent lives as she tries to combat evil as she goes to Egypt was linked to Hollywood's long-standing history of portraying white people as heroes saving the lives of non-white people around the world, only this time, it was a female white savior.

Egypt in the 80s

Some commentators also noted the movie portrayed life in Egypt during 1984 as though it was in the medieval ages, which forced them to post actual photos of the country at that time. This too, reminded Egyptian viewers of the historical portrayal of their country in Hollywood movies as a desert filled with uneducated and uncivilized people.

The former IDF-solider to the rescue

Moreover, many viewers pointed to the contrast in portraying Gadot as a hero who saves children with the fact that she is a former soldier in the Israeli army responsible for occupying Palestinian territories and killing thousands of children throughout the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Most commentators highlighted the irony in one scene in particular, as Gadot successfully rescues a number of Egyptian kids playing football on a highway while a number of large vehicles were headed towards them, as reminding them of the 2014 massacre in which Israeli warplanes killed four Palestinian children while they were playing football on the Gaza beach.

This is not the only controversy triggered by Gadot's roles. Last October, Arab Twitter users expressed rejection of news that the Israeli star will be cast to play the well-known Queen of Cleopatra of Egypt in a future film,  accusing the actress of "blackening" Egyptian history, as her family descends from Ashkenazi Jewish roots, not Middle Eastern ones.


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