The United Nations celebrated on Friday Wonder Woman’s 75th birthday by naming the comic book character as its new Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Woman and Girls.
U.N. staffer Cass DuRant, who held a sign saying “Real Women Deserve a Real Ambassador,” said the protesters “don’t think that a fictitious comic book characters wearing basically what looks like a Playboy-type bunny outfit is really the right message we need to send to girls or even boys for that matter.”
The super heroine’s image will be used by the U.N. on social media platforms to promote women’s empowerment, including on gender-based violence and the fuller participation of women in public life (using the hashtag WithWonderWoman). The push, hoping to reach young people, is backed by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros., which produce both comics and films featuring the character.
But an online petition , started by U.N. staffers, asked the secretary-general to reconsider the appointment, saying, “The message the United Nations is sending to the world with this appointment is extremely disappointing.” As of Friday afternoon, it had more than 1,100 signatures.
The Friday event brought together actress Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the 1970s TV series, and Gal Gadot, who has taken on the role in the forthcoming Wonder Woman film.
Carter, who gave a moving speech about how the character embodies the inner strength of every woman, was the only one to acknowledge the protesters in her remarks, saying “Please embrace her,” she said. “To all those who don’t think it’s a good idea, stand up and be counted.”
As for Gadot, she said after the event- “I’m the kind of person who always looks at the half-full glass. I care for the people who care and I’m here for a wonderful cause today.” She added, through a thin smile, “That’s all what my focus is.”