I have what might be referred to as a woman crush on Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot. I have been fan of the character since I was a child and watched Linda Carter womp on some bad guys and was thrilled when the super heroine was getting her own movie franchise. I had the dolls, the lunchbox and the Halloween costumes. It was a perfect piece of nostalgia for me and one I enjoyed sharing with my daughters.
In my humble opinion, there could not have been a better pick to play the iconic role than Gadot. She is beautiful of course and carries herself with a princess like bearing. She can also convey about 600 emotions without saying a word. Seeing her public conduct, she also appears to be confident, genuinely happy with life, her marriage and grateful for her success. She also served in the Israeli Army which is typical in that country for young adults, so she is a real-life butt kicker too.
So why do I like her even more now? According to sources she has said she will not continue in her role as Wonder Woman in Brett Ratner of Rat-Pac Dune Entertainment is involved with the project. Ratner has been accused of sexual harassment in the deluge of accusation coming out of Hollywood. In fact, Gadot removed herself from an event about a month ago where she was supposed to give Ratner an award according to Page Six.
Now the article of course includes the obligatory studio denials, because nothing can ever be amiss with a blockbuster Hollywood franchise. And likely any strife will be solved within “the family”. However, I find that this story breaking is powerful and really hope it is accurate.
We have been inundated with #MeToo stories. While I can empathize and understand why speaking out after being a victim of any crime is powerful and cathartic, the continuous stories seriously have me wondering which actress I see on screen has not been victimized in some way.
If Gadot is putting her role in the franchise on the line, she is the anti-victim. By Hollywood standards, her turn as Wonder Woman in the DC Universe is her breakout role. It has brought her front and center on the red carpet but as we all know stardom can be fleeting. She is taking relatively new star capital and putting it on the line to be part of a change it seems Hollywood desperately needs.
Her reported courage in shunning a powerful producer accused of some really depraved behavior speaks volumes about her character. Many with far more star capital, Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep come to mind, shrunk like violets or defended Harvey Weinstein in the wake of the very serious allegations.
In a world where there seem to be fewer of them available, I am always on the hunt for role models. I liked Gadot as an actress and a public figure. However, if this story bears out and she really has taken a stance when other more powerful women shied away, she just hit role model status. For drawing a line, holding to her principles and taking a stand for women in the industry with limited industry capital.
Be awfully nice if she really had a Lasso of Truth as we slog through the continued onslaught of accusations and denials regarding inappropriate sexual behavior, harassment and assault. But in the absence of that, let’s make sure those women taking a stand also stand apart.
As of today, Gal Gadot is the reason I will be going to see Justice League. If she laid down her star capital to take a stand against assault and abuse, I will lay down some of financial capital to help ensure her star continues to rise.
Updated 11/16/2017: In an interview on the Today Show this morning, Gal Gadot confirmed that Brett Ratner would no longer be involved in the Wonder Woman franchise. While she said her feelings on the subject were well known, many others involved in the production held a similar sentiment. According to Gadot, "So everyone knew what was the right thing to do, but there was nothing for me to actually come and say because it was already done before this article came out.”