Wonder Woman dumped as Special UN Ambassador after uproar

Wonder Woman dumped as Special UN Ambassador after uproar

Comic book heroine Wonder Woman has been abruptly fired from her honorary ambassador job at the United Nations.

The move came following protests from both inside and outside the world organisation that a white, skimpily dressed American prone to violence was not the best role model for girls.

Rheal LeBlanc, head of press and external relations, said the appointment of Wonder Woman as an Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls would end this week, a move that come less than two months after a splashy ceremony at the UN, which attracted actresses 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.

Critics said the appointment was tone deaf at a time when real women are fighting against sexual exploitation and abuse, and that there were plenty of real heroines that could be the face for gender equality.

At the time of the appointment, there was no indication it would end so quickly. DC Comics had no immediate response on Tuesday.

Wonder Woman's image was to be used by the UN on social media platforms to promote women's empowerment, including on gender-based violence and the fuller participation of women in public life.

Defenders of the decision pointed to the character's pioneering, feminist roots and her muscular bravery.

But an online petition, started by UN staff and signed by more than 44,000 people, asked the secretary general to reconsider the appointment, saying the message the UN was "sending to the world with this appointment is extremely disappointing".

And during the October 21 ceremony at the UN, many workers silently turned their back to the stage, some with their fists in the air.

The Wonder Woman appointment came after many women were dismayed that another man, Antonio Guterres - the former prime minister of Portugal, was chosen to be the next secretary general, even though more than half the candidates were women.

Several critics took issue with Wonder Woman's skimpy outfit, arguing that the world might not embrace a scantily clad character in a thigh-baring bodysuit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots.

Honorary ambassadors - as opposed to goodwill ambassadors like Nicole Kidman and Anne Hathaway - are fictional characters.

The UN previously approached Winnie the Pooh to be an honorary Ambassador of Friendship in 1998 and Tinker Bell as the honorary Ambassador of Green in 2009.

AP

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