Onstage at the Critics Choice Awards, Gal Gadot took the opportunity for a rallying cry. The Wonder Woman star spoke passionately about equality for women.
A Challenging Role
Gadot was receiving the #SeeHer Award, which is awarded on an annual basis to someone who's worked to challenge female stereotypes both on and off screen. Viola Davis received the award last year.
The Award was in recognition of how Gadot's acting career (particularly her role as Wonder Woman) has assisted to "push boundaries on changing stereotypes and recognize the importance of accurately portraying women across the entertainment landscape," according to the #SeeHer movement's press release (via Buzzfeed).
Gadot's Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins introduced her on the night. The actress spoke passionately and emphatically about how making the movie, the first female-led superhero movie ever, had inspired her.
A Reckoning Is Coming
"In the past weeks and months, we've been witnessing a movement in our industry and society, and I want to share this award with all the women and men who stand for what's right: Standing for those who can't stand or speak for themselves. My promise and commitment to all of you is that I will never be silenced, and we will continue [to] band together to make strides, uniting for equality," Gadot said.
Her full speech is below:
Throughout my career, I was always asked to describe my dream role. And it was clear to me that I wanted to portray a strong and independent woman-a real one. The irony in this is that later, I was cast as Wonder Woman, and all of these qualities I looked for, I found in her. She's full of heart, strength, compassion, and forgiveness. She sees wrong that must be made right; she takes action when everyone around her is idle. She commands the attention of the world. And in doing so, she sets a positive example for humanity.
Wonder Woman also struggles with her own love and hopes, she gets confused, insecure, and she's not perfect. And that's what makes her real. We wanted her to be universal, to be an inspiration to all people all around the world, and our plan was to make sure we didn't give too much attention to the fact that she's a woman.
The whole process of creating this film inspired me, and I hope we managed to inspire others. Now, when I started acting, there were very few female-led movies, and even fewer female directors. This year, three of the top-grossing films were female-led, and one of them was directed by my wonderful Patty Jenkins. There were eight other films in [the] top 100 which were directed by females. So although this is progress, there is still a long way to go.
Patty just shared an anecdote with me. And she said someone told her that his three-year-old saw the movie, and when the movie ended, the boy said, "When I grow up, I want to be a woman!" So as artists, and as filmmakers, I believe it's not only our job to entertain, but our duty to inspire and educate for love and respect.
In the past weeks and months, we've been witnessing a movement in our industry and society, and I want to share this award with all the women and men who stand for what's right: Standing for those who can't stand or speak for themselves. My promise and commitment to all of you is that I will never be silenced, and we will continue: band together to make strides, uniting for equality.
The three highest grossing movies of 2017 were female-fronted, namely, Wonder Woman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Beauty and the Beast. Gadot's words about the state of the industry seem more prescient now than ever before.
Wonder Woman won big on the night in general, with the movie picking up three Critics Choice Awards overall, including Best Action Movie (a big deal for a female-led action movie).
Jenkins and Gadot are both on board for the highly anticipated sequel, Wonder Woman 2, which hits theaters on Nov. 1, 2019.