Wonder Woman has had her golden tiara hung up and her ambassadorship to the UN relinquished after tens of thousands of people signed a petition calling on the organisation to ditch the comic book character.
Officials appointed the superhero as an ambassador in October, ahead of a 2017 empowerment campaign for women and girls.
But the choice of the white, curvaceous and scantily clad superhero attracted heavy criticism. Almost 45,000 people signing an online petition calling for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to drop the character and dozens of UN employees protested at UN headquarters on the day of the appointment.
“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 said.
“It is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualized image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls.
The UN did not explain why the project with Wonder Woman would come to such an apparently abrupt end on Friday.
Yet spokesperson Jeffrey Brez said campaigns using such fictional characters often lasted only a few months, Reuters reported.
The designation of Angry Birds, a collection of animated characters that originated in an online video game, as UN climate change envoys in March lasted a single day, he said.
Warner Bros and DC Entertainment are sponsoring a year-long campaign by the UN and its children's agency, Unicef, for gender equality and women's empowerment.
DC Entertainment – which publishes DC Comics – said Wonder Woman brought had brought exposure to the UN’s goal of achieving gender equality 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 spokesperson for the company.
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, she said.
The petition offers to find the UN a list of “living, breathing” female role models for consideration for the role of ambassador.
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