“My promise and commitment to all of you is that I will never be silenced.”
Last year, actor Viola Davis received the inaugural #SeeHer Award at the Critics’ Choice Awards.
According to a press release, the award recognizes a woman who embodies the values set forth by the #SeeHer movement (an initiative first launched in early 2016 by the Association of National Advertisers’ Alliance for Family Entertainment), “to push boundaries on changing stereotypes and recognize the importance of accurately portraying women across the entertainment landscape.”
While introducing her colleague and friend, Jenkins said of Gadot’s role in Wonder Woman, “She didn’t do it for the glory. She didn’t do it for the fame. 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.”
Gadot took the stage to a standing ovation, and delivered an empowering speech about equality and compassion. “We wanted her to be universal, to be inspirational to all people all around the world,” Gadot said of her onscreen persona, “and our plan was to make sure we didn’t give too much attention to the fact that she’s a woman.”
Gadot stated in her speech that three of the year’s top-grossing films were female-led, also noting, “So although this is progress, there is still a long way to go.”
Gadot also shared a story Jenkins had told her about someone whose 3-year-old son watched Wonder Woman and said, “When I grow up, I want to be a woman!” Gadot laughed, and then finished the story by saying, “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.”
Gadot ended her speech by dedicating the award to “all the women and men who stand for what’s right,” and saying, “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.”
Thank you to the critics for this amazing honor and recognition, and thank you so much, my friend, my sister, Patty, for your beautiful words. I’m blown away to be standing up here in a room filled with so many people who I look up to, respect, and admire.
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. 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 inspirational 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. Someone told her that his 3-year-old saw the movie, and when the movie ended, the boy said, “When I grow up, I want to be a woman!” 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. Thank you very, very much.
Source: BuzzFeed Entertainment