Wonder Woman will no longer be an honorary ambassador to the United Nations, Reuters reports, less than two months after the superhero was chosen to lead a promotional campaign for gender equality. The decision to end the Wonder Woman campaign follows online protests from some who felt that the character’s sexualized representation sent the wrong message to girls and women.
A UN spokesman confirmed to Reuters that the empowerment campaign will end this Friday, though he did not provide a reason for the decision. Spokesman Jeffrey Brez told the news agency that previous UN initiatives with fictional characters have had short runs. The Wonder Woman campaign was initially expected to continue through 2017.
An online petition to remove Wonder Woman from the initiative garnered nearly 45,000 signatures as of this week. “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 petition reads. Some UN employees also protested her appointment in October.
The appointment of Wonder Woman as “Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls” initially aimed to promote a UN sustainable development goal for gender equality. The announcement coincided with the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman’s first appearance in a DC Comics comic book in 1941.
A spokeswoman for DC Entertainment, publisher of DC Comics, told NBC News that the company was “extremely pleased” with the campaign, adding: “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.”