Leave it to Fox News to get pissed that a movie starring a Greek demi-goddess isn’t American enough... and this isn’t even the first time.
During Friday’s episode of Your World with Neil Cavuto, host Cavuto got into it with guests Dion Baia and Mike Gunzelman about about actor Gal Gadot’s lack of red, white, and blue on her Wonder Woman costume... well, technically just the white (man, Fox News is really obtuse about double-meanings, even when they’re accidental).
“Nowadays, sadly, money trumps patriotism,” Baia said. “Especially, recently, I personally feel like we’re not really very patriotic, the country, in a certain sense.”
“I think the Hollywood aspect, we see this time and time again, it’s cool to hate America these days,” Gunzelman added.
Barring the fact that teaming up with an American to save our European allies during a World War is the quintessential definition of not hating America (even if they changed which world war it was), this analogy fails to address or even acknowledge what Diana’s original costume meant, and how it’s changed over the decades. In the character’s earliest appearances in the silver age of comics, Wonder Woman wore the flag as her costume because, in-universe, she was representing the Amazons to America... and out of universe, we were in the middle of World War II.
Since then, we’ve gotten several versions of the costume, including full-on 1960s mod pantsuits, flight jackets... and the infamous pants and corset getup from the failed 2010 Wonder Woman pilot. And honestly, Cavuto would know that if he’d done a Google search into his own outlet’s archives. Fox News actually reported on that TV outfit when the promotional photos debuted, asking again whether Diana was losing her patriotism — albeit with a bit more nuance than Cavuto bothered with. They even chatted with io9 co-founder (and current Nebula-winning author) Charlie Jane Anders about the situation.
“The American-ness of her costume really dates from World War II and it feels like it’s part of her roots, even if she is supposed to have come from an island full of Amazons,” Anders said in 2010. “I think making her look more ‘globalized’ isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but you have to be careful not to sacrifice what makes her distinctive and thrilling in the process.”
And you know what, they didn’t. Wonder Woman’s Silver Age costume is an iconic part of comic book history, but Gadot’s ensemble isn’t proof that the new film is trying to stick it to Trump’s America. It’s still got many of the traditional trappings, but it takes more inspiration from the mythical armor her and her fellow Amazons have been wearing for centuries. It doesn’t remove her American patriotism, it combines it with her own cultural identity. And, if anything, it leans heavily on the direction Diana’s costume has gone in the comics over nearly eight decades, which has gone from explaining why Diana must be so specifically Americanized to, well, a costume heavily inspired by her look in the movie universe, too:
In that sense, it’s actually a powerful symbol of the American experience. Being an American isn’t about shedding your cultural heritage to join this collective blob of stars and stripes. It’s a place where people from all over the planet have come to live together. That can, and should, include honoring where they came from.
All that being said, what does Gunzelman suggest as a truly American alternative to the evil globalist Wonder Woman? Baywatch, obviously.
Additional reporting by James Whitbrook.