A war cry of victory sounds out from Wonder Women everywhere this week as Gal Gadot’s gamble pays off. Let’s be clear, this was indeed a gamble for the star as she proved that integrity and ferocity still exist in Hollywood. Gadot threatened not to return for the Wonder Woman sequel if Brett Ratner were to be in any way involved with production.
Producer and director Ratner was accused of a number of instances of sexual harassment and abuse by actors and models such as Natasha Henstridge, Olivia Munn and Ellen Page. Martin Singer, Ratner’s attorney, has “categorically” denied all accusations. Melanie Kohler, a former marketing executive, wrote a damning Facebook post accusing Ratner of raping her over a decade ago, this claim has been denied and Kohler has been served with a defamation lawsuit.
The Israeli born actor took a bold stance in the wake of endless accusations of sexual assault in Hollywood. It can only be hoped that she has set a precedent, giving actors the confidence to follow. A source with Warner Bros. told Page Six that “She’s tough and stands by her principles. She [...] knows the best way to hit people like Brett Ratner is in the wallet. She also knows that Warner Bros. has to side with her on this issue as it develops. They can’t have a movie rooted in women’s empowerment being part-financed by a man ¬accused of sexual misconduct against women.”
Gadot confirmed that Ratner will no longer be involved in production of the sequel, it has also been reported that Ratner’s Hugh Hefner biopic has been cancelled and his contract with Warner Bros. will not be renewed in 2018.
If more big-money names and well-known stars stand up to this behaviour it could mark a serious shift in the balance of Hollywood power
In an interview on the Today show Gadot inferred that a decision had been made before the initial Page Six article came out, “Everyone knew what was the right thing to do”. This marks a huge shift and it becomes clear that this behaviour is no longer as easily brushed under the red carpet.
This is an important move as Gadot is, arguably, the main drawing power for the hit and miss DC Extended Universe. Wonder Woman made over $800 million internationally and Ratner’s production company RatPac-Dune Entertainment benefitted heavily from their financial investment in the first film.
If more big-money names and well-known stars stand up to this behaviour it could mark a serious shift in the balance of Hollywood power. Star power is something we’re accustomed to being utilised as a way to get (literal) arses on seats but perhaps that power could be wielded for a good cause, to incite change.
In the meantime, I propose we position Patty Jenkins at the helm of the entire DC cinematic universe with Gal Gadot front and centre and we can let the ladies drive this thing for a while.