Should We Draw a Line Between Artist and Personal Controversy?

6/2/17



I watched Wonder Woman alone last Wednesday. A movie I've been so hyped for since knowing the last Chris remains ™ was taken by DC (so that Marvel doesn't have the complete set). Yes, I came for Chris Pine. But I'm not gonna lie. Gal Gadot's portrayal of Diana Prince a.k.a Wonder Woman on Batman v Superman last year was also the factor that dragged me to the cinema.

Seeing Gadot brought Diana to life in BvS was a major fangirl moment. Not gonna lie. She's strong, with a goddess-like stature and fights like a warrior. Saying she hard-carried BvS was also pretty apt to state. Somewhat a saving grace. I came out after feeling good and positive about the upcoming Wonder Woman movie.

It's proven right a year after.

But also there's this conflicted feeling. Hesitation, some sort, over Gadot.

Gadot is Israeli. An Israeli soldier before her Hollywood days. In her Facebook back in 2014, she posted support over Israelian military who fought over Hamas, Palestine. I'm not going to delve deeper on the subject of Palestine vs Israel because I believe you have access to Google. Also, Lebanon has banned any screening of Wonder Woman (FYI Gadot served in 2006 and during her period IDF killed 1100 Lebanese and injured 4400). This makes her a Zionist.

I'm not highly religious nor political person. But I'm not gonna lie that this issue shocked me a bit. I'm a woman, Muslim, and a moviegoer at that. I've turned a blind eye over so many things people in this industry have done but also supported the other lot (don't get me started on Casey Affleck controversy and how on earth Brie Larson should hand him the award). And this one issue also felt close because how come feminists chose to overlook this issue and coming over her shaved armpits instead? Is it because as long as she brought the character to justice? Do they realize by still consuming her works then there will be studios who are willing to overlook her beliefs as long as she makes money?

To quote Affinity:

How can you praise the new Wonder Woman movie when she is being played by someone who condones the horrible crimes committed by Israel for years? How can the new Wonder Woman be someone who dedicated a portion of her life to serving in that military, which goes against the character’s values and beliefs?

Isn't that the truth?

Are we being permissive because of those actors, those artists excelled in their field so that their belief shouldn't affect us from enjoying their works? The actor who abused a woman, the artist who have killed another man, the singer with tons of controversies, to other people who supported wrong beliefs yet still appear here and there just because there's a demand.

This is a question of integrity for some. Others chose to turn a blind eye. I am aware of my decision to watch Wonder Woman would get a side eye from some people. Currently, my feminist side is screaming, also the moviegoer in me is confused as hell. This post is all over the place and I'm aware of that. On the core, I'm still conflicted but I also know I have integrity, there are beliefs I fought and fight over, and I should've planted myself harder.

In short, a dilemma.



P. S. This post is nowhere made to discourage you from watching and I'm simply posting because I knew I'm not alone in this internal struggle. I'm open to disagreements and different perspective, not just on Gal Gadot but entertainers in general.

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