Israel's Gal Gadot removed as UN role model for her 'impossible proportions'

The move came after the Oct. 21 appointment of the superhero to fight for gender equality sparked heavy criticism, with nearly 45,000 people signing an online petition.

By REUTERS
December 13, 2016 20:09
2 minute read.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

Wonder Woman's battle for equality for women and girls at the United Nations has come to a untimely end.


The scantily clad, curvaceous comic book superhero has had her appointment as a United Nations honorary ambassador cut in less than two months following protests.


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A United Nations spokesman said the character's role at the 193-member state organization would end on Friday despite plans for Wonder Woman to be used in an empowerment campaign for women and girls into 2017.


The move came after the Oct. 21 appointment of the superhero to fight for gender equality sparked heavy criticism, with nearly 45,000 people signing an online petition asking UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to reconsider selection of the character.


"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," the petition read.


Wonder Woman, a DC Comics Inc. heroine, first appeared in 1941, fighting villains, rescuing victims and unearthing evil plots.


Dozens of UN employees protested at the UN headquarters in New York City 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 UN 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 lasted no longer than a few months.


He said "Angry Birds," a collection of animated characters that originated in an online video game, were used as climate envoys in March for a single day.


DC Entertainment, which publishes DC Comics, said it was pleased with the exposure Wonder Woman brought to the UN's global goals to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls by 2030.


"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, from DC Entertainment,


DC Entertainment is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. that is a division of Time Warner.


Simmons said the release next year of a special-edition Wonder Woman comic book on the empowerment of women and girls, announced in October, is still planned.


A full-length Wonder Woman movie, unaffiliated with the UN campaign, starring Israeli actress Gal Gadot is scheduled for release by Warner Bros. in June next year.


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