Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman salary has fans wondering if she’s a victim of the wage gap. While these stats are misleading, the gap is still worth talking about.
Wonder Woman fans were sent into a frenzy this morning when news broke of Gal Gadot’s salary. Wonder Woman is one of the most successful movies in the DC Universe. An empowering movie with a female lead and female director, Wonder Woman has already made $573 million worldwide. And yet Gadot has only been paid a measly $300,000 for the film.
To make matters worse, reports claimed that Gadot made far less than her male counterparts. Henry Cavill, for example, earned a whopping 46 times more – or $14 million – for his movie Man of Steel. Was this a classic case of the gender wage gap in Hollywood?
With Gadot making so much less despite her movie being such a success (especially compared to other DC Universe movies), it certainly looked that way. But those details about Gadot and Cavill’s salaries are wildly misleading.
As Vanity Fair points out, Cavill’s earnings included his bonuses for box office performance (and may have been for more than just Man of Steel) while Gadot’s earnings are just the base salary she agreed to. And the $300,000 she got for Wonder Woman isn’t that outrageous for a newcomer in the superhero universe. Actors like Cavill, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth were all paid relatively little for their first films. They then got box office bonuses, negotiated for more as their franchises took off, and more.
So Gadot made a comparable amount to other superhero actors’ first films. But with Wonder Woman’s enormous success, you can bet Gadot will negotiate to make even more money when she films Wonder Woman 2.
So, no, despite the scary, shocking statistics, Gadot hasn’t been a victim of the gender wage gap. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. We all know the gender pay gap exists both in and outside of Hollywood. The most famous example in Hollywood was when the 2014 Sony Hack revealed that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were paid less than their male American Hustle co-stars.
As Forbes notes, women in the United States make an average of 78% of what their male counterparts make. And things only get worse for women of color. African American and Native American women make 64 cents and 59 cents to a white man’s dollar. And Hispanic women make 56 cents to the dollar. This is all exacerbated in Hollywood where women get less money, fewer speaking roles, and fewer opportunities behind the camera.
So while the shocking comparison between Gadot and Cavill turned out to be just untrue, that doesn’t mean the gender wage gap isn’t worth talking about.