SO IT GOES for Wonder Woman much the same way it does for a chronically losing NFL coach: The more insistent the official front-office pronouncements of faith and trust become, the more you can be sure the ax is soon to fall.
And so it fell this week for Wonder Woman as official U.N. ambassador for women and girls.
Yes, Diana Prince has been canned.
In October, Wonder Woman was named to the ceremonial post with much star-spangled fanfare. Just days ahead of Halloween, the U.N. and DC Comics publicized the Amazonian princess’s honorary ambassador’s post with a live-streamed New York media event, as Wonder Woman actresses past (Lynda Carter) and present (Gal Gadot) spoke of the 75-year-old superhero character as a symbol of strength, “gender equality and women’s empowerment.”
Meanwhile, though, many U.N. employees said they objected to such a highly sexualized character assuming the high-profile post, calling her not an empowering figure but rather “the epitome of a ‘pin-up’ girl.”
An online petition asking the U.N. to reconsider Wonder Woman’s “hiring” drew nearly 45,000 supporters. Backers urged Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to reconsider the appointment of what they saw as an underdressed, anti-feminist figure. (This came after multiple women were put forward for the secretary general position, and all were rejected.) And the site WomanSG.org urged appointing an actual woman to the honorary ambassadorship, faulting the United Nations’ decision to name “a muscled version of a Barbie doll as the symbol to globally represent gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.”
Honorary U.N. posts “held” by fictional characters vary in scheduled duration, with some lasting for as little as a day.
October’s event kicked off a planned 12-month campaign in which Warner Bros./DC was teaming with the U.N. and UNICEF to promote female empowerment.
Warner Bros’s first solo Wonder Woman film, starring Gadot, opens in June.