Gal Gadot Gives Powerful Speech: 'I Will Never Be Silenced'

The winner of this year's Critics' Choice #SeeHer Award, Gal Gadot, was welcomed to the stage Thursday night with a standing ovation for her efforts to "challenge stereotypes" and "push the boundaries on gender equality in real life." Her acceptance speech didn't disappoint. The real life Wonder Woman, who has worked to combat both gender inequality and anti-Semitism, declared that she will "never be silenced."

Gadot was introduced by "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins, who described Gadot as an "extremely special person" and "dear friend and partner on an incredible journey." Jenkins noted that the #SeeHer Award was designed to "recognize the importance of accurately portraying women across the entertainment landscape." Gadot, she said, was specifically honored for inspiring gender fairness and parity in the industry and beyond.

"The really special thing is 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," said Jenkins. "She knew the great importance to this character and what she could mean to the universe if well done. I'm so proud for all that she does. She's my real Wonder Woman."

When Gadot took the stage amid a standing ovation, she met the audience with her trademark humility and humor, expressing how amazed she was to be honored by so many whom she admired.

"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," she began (full text below). "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."

"When I started acting, there were very few female-led movies, and even fewer female directors," she said. "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."

She concluded her speech by promising to continue to inspire others to unite for equality.

"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," she said. "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: band together to make strides, uniting for equality."

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Full transcript below (via Elle):

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: band together to make strides, uniting for equality.

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