Wonder Woman was one of 2017′s most successful movies, achieving strong reviews and huge box office results. It ended the year with a global gross of $821.8 million, and the sequel is set for a 2019 release. There was, however, one person who wasn’t happy with the film–Avatar and Terminator director James Cameron. In August, Cameron criticised the movie, calling it a “step backwards” for strong female movie characters. Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot has now spoken about Cameron’s comments, and explained why she didn’t address them at the time.

“I didn’t want to give him the stage,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “First of all, I’m a big fan of his work. His movies are great. He was very innovative in many things that he did, and I’ve got nothing but great things to say about the creative and professional side of his work. When it happened, the timing of when it happened, he was promoting another movie of his. It was like he was looking for publicity and I just didn’t want to give him the stage.”

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As Gadot states, Cameron’s comments coincided with the announcement that he is producing the next Terminator movie, which will see the return of Linda Hamilton in the role as Sarah Connor. “All of the self-congratulatory back-patting Hollywood’s been doing over Wonder Woman has been so misguided,” he said. “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!”

Although Gadot was reluctant to comment at the time, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins did offer a strong rebuttal to Cameron’s criticism. “James Cameron’s inability to understand what Wonder Woman is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great filmmaker, he is not a woman,” she said. “There is no right or wrong kind of powerful woman.”

In related news, Jenkins recently hinted at what fans can expect from Wonder Woman 2 when it arrives in November 2019. She described it as a “funny and a great love story again [with] a couple of new unbelievable characters who I’m so excited about, who are very different than were in the last movie.”