Does the idea of an African-American actress playing Wonder Woman make you uneasy? I know it does (as here, scroll down for comments) many traditionalists; i.e., those who would view negatively any deviation from the established image, a position that isn’t altogether ungraspable. Wonder Woman, much like Superman, is a symbol of strength, only more vital than him, for women have had few such symbols. Any impulse to reinvent Wonder Woman should concern all who care about her, or Amazon feminism in general.
Yet I differ with my fellow traditionalists (and I do consider myself one). The essence of Wonder Woman is what must be preserved; the strength, the goodness, the majesty-these are the indispensable qualities; the rest, mere gloss without them.
It would, however, be foolish to say that her iconic image isn’t important. Someone who captures both image and essence would be the logical, admittedly ideal choice (why I consider Jodi Lyn O’Keefe a good bet).
That said, there are undoubtedly black actresses capable of filling the role masterfully; and a tall, athletic black actress would make a much better Wonder Woman than a scrawny white one-and knowing Hollywood’s track record, the latter is a very real possibility.
Not long ago I panned Beyonc