LOS ANGELES-Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the 1970s, has hit back at Avatar director James Cameron’s criticism of the recent hit movie reboot.

The actress told him to stop his “thuggish jabs” at the new film, which stars Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

Cameron has repeatedly described it as a “step backwards” in the portrayal of strong female characters.

He told Hollywood Reporter that Gadot’s character was “drop-dead gorgeous... to me that’s not breaking ground”. It followed his saying in August that Wonder Woman was “an objectified icon”. The film’s director Patty Jenkins hit back then, saying “there is no right or wrong kind of powerful woman”.

In a Facebook post, Carter told 63-year-old Cameron to “stop dissing” Gadot’s Wonder Woman and called him a “poor soul” who “perhaps didn’t understand the character”.

“Like all women we are more than the sum of our parts,” said the 61-year-old actress, who played Wonder Woman on TV from 1975 to 1979.

“Your thuggish jabs at a brilliant director, Patty Jenkins, are ill-advised. This movie was spot on. Gal Gadot was great.” “I know, Mr Cameron - because I have embodied this character for more than 40 years. So - STOP IT.”

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter this week, Cameron noted that Gadot was a former Miss Israel, adding: “She was wearing a kind of bustier costume that was very form-fitting. She’s absolutely drop-dead gorgeous.

“To me, that’s not breaking ground. They had Raquel Welch doing stuff like that in the 60s.”

In August, he compared Wonder Woman unfavourably with the character Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton, in his 1991 Terminator movie.

“Linda looked great. She just wasn’t treated as a sex object. There was nothing sexual about her character.

“It was about angst, it was about will, it was about determination. She was crazy, she was complicated.

“She wasn’t there to be liked or ogled, but she was central, and the audience loved her by the end of the film,” the director said.

He continued with comments about director Jenkins.

“As much as I applaud Patty directing the film and Hollywood, uh, ‘letting’ a woman direct a major action franchise, I didn’t think there was anything groundbreaking in Wonder Woman. I thought it was a good film. Period.”