Actress and Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot made an impassioned call for unity and equality while accepting the special #SeeHer award at Thursday night’s Critics’ Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California.
Gadot, accepting the award from her friend and Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, vowed never to be “silenced” and said there was still much progress to be accomplished to ensure equality in Hollywood and society.
The 32-year-old actress said that throughout her career, she had always wanted to portray a “strong and independent woman,” and had finally found that role in superhero Diana Prince.
“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,” Gadot said. “She takes action when everyone around her is idle. She commands the attention of the world, and in doing do, sets a positive example for humanity.”
Gadot added that when she began her career, there were very few female-led films, 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,” Gadot said to loud applause. “There were eight other films in the top 100 which were directed by females. Although this is progress, there is still a long way to go.”
The actress concluded by saying that as artists, she believes 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,” she said. “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.”
Wonder Woman stormed the box office upon its release in June, amassing a domestic haul of $412 million on its way to an $821 million worldwide gross, making the film one of the most successful of the year.
Both Gadot and Jenkins have reportedly already signed on for a sequel.
The actress’s acceptance speech comes as Hollywood has been rocked by an ongoing sexual misconduct scandal that has seen more than 100 prominent men in the industry accused of misconduct.
Actresses attending Sunday night’s Golden Globes wore all black on the red carpet as a statement of solidarity with victims of sexual assault. Many also wore specially-made Time’s Up pins to raise awareness of the newly-created Times Up legal fund, started by Hollywood talent and executives to provide resources to victims of sexual abuse.
See the full list of winners from Thursday night’s Critics’ Choice Awards here.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum