In recent days New York magazine’s ubiquitous entertainment site Vulture has attempted to “own” hit DC comics blockbuster Wonder Woman, even publishing a whole feature on Lupita Nyong’o’s review of the movie (unsurprisingly she loved it).
However, one person who didn’t love Wonder Woman was their movie critic David Edelstein, who has thrown a considerable spanner in the works with a weird review focusing heavily on the appearance of the movie’s star, Gal Gadot.
Edelstein penned a love letter to Gadot within the context of why he wasn’t wild about the movie. He wrote: “The only grace note in the generally clunky Wonder Woman is its star, the five-foot-10-inch Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot, who is somehow the perfect blend of superbabe-in-the-woods innocence and mouthiness…she’s a treat here with her raspy accented voice and driving delivery. (Israeli women are a breed unto themselves, which I say with both admiration and trepidation.)”
Continuing to dig a grave for himself with New York‘s woker-than-woke readers, Edelstein observed: “Fans might be disappointed that there’s no trace of the comic’s well-documented S&M kinkiness. With a female director, Patty Jenkins, at the helm, Diana isn’t even photographed to elicit slobbers.” His conclusion? “I didn’t miss Lynda Carter’s buxom, apple-cheeked pinup, though. It was worth waiting for Gadot.”
Edelstein getting carried away elicited a predictably furious response from New York readers, who slammed him for being sexist, called for him to be fired for his “masturbatory crime” and threatened boycotts. The Mary Sue and Jezebel websites are predictably freaking out.
hey dude film critics, here’s how NOT to write about actresses pic.twitter.com/2II1cI3uc6
— priscilla page (@BBW_BFF) June 2, 2017
Edelstein has hit back on Facebook, writing: “I did not believe that describing the appearance of the leading actress would be off limits. There is no prurience…Early on, I say she has a combination of “super-babe-in-the-woods innocence and mouthiness.” This is obviously a play on “babe in the woods” and she is literally ‘super’…Right now I think the problem is that some people can’t read.”
A problem for Edelstein is that irrespective of whether his colleagues can read or not, they are not happy.
Fellow New York movie critic Emily Yoshida acidly observed on Twitter: “I wasn’t really planning on writing anything about Wonder Woman, but I guess I kind of have to now huh.”
Culture writer Abraham Riseman tweeted: “I have tremendous respect for David Edelstein, but I just want to make clear that his views about WONDER WOMAN do not reflect mine.”
Sources at New York tell Heat Street several staffers intend to tell editor Adam Moss in person that they strongly object to the review’s perceived sexism. Moss is unlikely to act. Edelstein was one of his earliest hires at New York.
Announcing the appointment in 2005, Moss said: “David will be a critical player in the expansion of our online cultural authority.”
Some of his colleagues are now wishing that era would be brought to an end.