In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Gal Gadot speaks of getting emotional while watching the final cut of Wonder Woman 1984. “I had such a strong reaction to this movie,” the Wonder Woman actress states. “I can’t tell you what happened in the movie that made me cry, I can just tell you that it was the very beginning. All of a sudden I wasn’t Gal, or Wonder Woman, [or] the actress, [or] the producer who was on set when everything was shot. I was a little girl from a suburb in Israel watching, all by myself, in the scene… and I see this amazing woman doing these amazing things, and I did not expect that.”
ET’s Rachel Smith then asks, “Maybe it brought emotions upon you (because) you’re a mom of two daughters.”
“Yeah, that, too, for sure.” Gadot replies. She then states her feelings on why the feminism Wonder Woman projects is not only important for girls, but that boys and men also need to learn why female empowerment is important. “It goes both ways, we can’t just empower women, only by focusing on women, we also need to educate the boys and the men so a young boy that goes to see this in the cinema, this amazing woman that does those amazing things, that he can believe a woman can do that, you know what I mean? So it goes both ways.”
This actually mirrors earlier comments from Gadot on the topic of feminism. In an interview for Glamour Magazine, she stated, “People always ask me, ‘Are you a feminist?’ And I find the question surprising, because I think, ‘Yes, of course. Every woman, every man, everyone should be a feminist. Because whoever is not a feminist is a sexist.”
You’d think that would be it, right? The whole story as told by Gal Gadot. Not so fast! Some websites with a conservative agenda gleefully spun her words as anti-feminist, even calling Smith a “feminazi.” According to Cosmic Book News and author Matt McGloin, Gadot was actually shutting down ‘feminazis’ by saying the movie was for girls AND boys. Not only is his characterization of Gadot’s words twisted, he also applies them to a cartoonish definition that the alt-right often assigns feminism – that it excludes boys and men.
After claiming Gadot “cuts off” Smith (she didn’t, as the video linked above clearly shows), McGloin claims Gadot is referring to ‘lifting up’ Steve Trevor so that Wonder Woman isn’t the sole hero of her own movie. Again, as the video clearly shows, that wasn’t what the actress was referring to.
BoundingIntoComics believes that Gadot saying Wonder Woman is for ‘both girls and boys’ is her way of undercutting any notion that the film should be particularly inspiring for women who’ve only very recently been represented in a strong way on the silver screen. Boo hoo for little boys who only have 100 years of movies with strong male characters to choose from.
The root of these and other sites’ attempt to spin Gadot’s interview goes back to when Brie Larson hurt their tender feelings by pointing out critics reviewing movies appeared to be overwhelmingly white males. More specifically, the Academy Award-winning actress implied that the mixed reviews for Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time had something to do with the age and race of the reviewers.
“I don’t need a 40-year-old white dude to tell me what didn’t work about A Wrinkle in Time,” Larson said. “It wasn’t made for him! I want to know what it meant to women of color, biracial women, to teen women of color.”
This didn’t sit well some sensitive guys who seem to believe that all movies SHOULD be made for them. But as a few veteran female critics politely pointed out, fanboys have long been telling them that they shouldn’t be reviewing comic-book films because they “weren’t made for them”.
And as the Irish Times points out, Larson’s point is undeniable. A survey last year confirmed that around 78 percent of film criticism was by men in the US . The situation for racial minorities was no better.
“What I am saying is if you make a movie that is a love letter to women of color, there is an insanely low chance a woman of color will have a chance to see your movie, and review your movie,” Brie added.
As a white man and a film critic, I wholeheartedly support both Gadot’s and Brie’s words as stated, not how they’ve been intentionally misconstrued.