On Thursday night at the 2018 Critics’ Choice awards, Wonder Woman (on the big screen and IRL) Gal Gadot accepted the #SeeHer Award, which is given to women who “push boundaries” and “recognize the importance of accurately portraying women across the entertainment landscape.”
Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins presented 32-year-old Gadot with the prize, and when she introduced her friend, she said: “She’s not here for the money. She did it for us. She knew the great importance of this character and what she could mean to the world if well done.”
But the really powerful moment happened when Gadot took the stage and gave her acceptance speech.
“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,” she said.
The past year has been huge for Gadot: she was part of a film that broke box office records, she spoke out against sexual harassment, and she even became a real-life superhero for young girls. In her speech, Gadot said she wanted to portray Wonder Woman as a strong and independent woman.
“She sees wrong that must be made right; she takes action when everyone around her is idle,” she said of her character. “She commands the attention of the world. And in doing so, she sets a positive example for humanity.”
Gadot also acknowledged the recent movements for equality in the entertainment industry and shared her award “with all the women and men who stand for what’s right” and those “who can’t stand or speak for themselves.” While Gadot’s made some controversial comments in the past, we are so here for her #girlpower mantra.
Below, her full speech.
“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 [to] band together to make strides, uniting for equality.”