NEW YORK, Dec 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Wonder
Woman's reign as a United Nations honorary ambassador comes to
an end this week, the U.N. said on Monday, in an unexpected
departure less than two months after appointment of the scantily
clad, curvaceous comic book character sparked outcries of
Plans had called for use of Wonder Woman in an empowerment
campaign for women and girls into 2017, according to the comic
book's publisher, but the character's role is ending on Friday,
a U.N. spokesman said.
Appointment on Oct. 21 of the comic superhero as U.N.
honorary ambassador to fight for gender equality, especially to
appeal to young people, sparked heavy criticism that the choice
sent the wrong messages.
Nearly 45,000 people signed an online petition asking U.N.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to reconsider selection of the
buxom character, typically clad in a red, white and blue body
"Although the original creators may have intended Wonder
Woman to represent a strong and independent 'warrior' woman with
a feminist message, the reality is that the character's current
iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible
proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body
suit," the petition read.
Wonder Woman, a DC Comics Inc. heroine, first appeared in
1941, fighting villains, rescuing victims and unearthing evil
Dozens of U.N. employees protested at U.N. headquarters on
the day of the appointment, when Diane Nelson, president of DC
Entertainment, said the Wonder Woman campaign would feature
various initiatives "over the course of the next year."
The U.N. did not provide further details as to why the
Wonder Woman campaign was ending this week, but spokesman
Jeffrey Brez said campaigns using fictional characters often
last no longer than a few months.
The designation of "Angry Birds," a collection of animated
characters that originated in an online video game, as U.N.
climate change envoys in March lasted a single day, he said.
DC Entertainment, which publishes DC Comics, said it was
pleased with the exposure Wonder Woman brought to the U.N.'s
global goal to achieve gender equality and empower women and
girls by 2030 "as well as elevating the global conversation
around the empowerment of women and girls."
"Wonder Woman stands for peace, justice and equality, and
for 75 years she has been a motivating force for many and will
continue to be long after the conclusion of her UN Honorary
Ambassadorship," said Courtney Simmons, a spokeswoman for DC
Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
that is a division of Time Warner.
Release next year of a special-edition Wonder Woman comic
book on the empowerment of women and girls, announced in
October, is still planned, said Simmons.
A full-length Wonder Woman movie, unaffiliated with the U.N.
campaign, starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot is scheduled for
release by Warner Bros. in June.
(Reporting by Sebastien Malo, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst.
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