Gal Gadot received a particularly wonderful honor at Thursday’s Critics’ Choice Awards: Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins presented her with the #SeeHer Award, honoring the actress for challenging female stereotypes on screen and off.
The award is organized by the Association of National Advertisers and honors a woman who helps “push boundaries on changing stereotypes and recognize the importance of accurately portraying women across the entertainment landscape.” Viola Davis received the award in 2017, its inaugural year.
Gadot accepted the award by noting that throughout her career she has wanted to play strong, independent, real women, and found all those qualities in her role as Wonder Woman. “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,” she said.
The actress also noted that there were “very few female-led movies and even fewer female directors,” but that things are changing — in 2017, three of the top-grossing films were female-led, including her Jenkins-directed superhero film. “There were eight other films in [the] top 100 which were directed by females,” she added. “So although this is progress, but there’s still a long way to go.
Gadot also expressed support for the current movement of people speaking out against harassment in Hollywood and beyond. “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. “And I promise, my 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.”
In addition to Gadot’s tribute, Wonder Woman received three Critics’ Choice nominations, for best action movie, visual effects, and costume design. Both Jenkins and Gadot are on board to return for Wonder Woman 2, which is scheduled to hit theaters Nov. 1, 2019.