April 18, 2021

Equal pay has been my biggest struggle: Hollywood star Gal Gadot

Mumbai,  Even 'Wonder Woman' has to fight for equal pay. Hollywood star Gal Gadot says her biggest struggle as a woman has been against pay disparity between her and her male co-stars.

Gadot, who rose to fame with the 2017 superhero blockbuster "Wonder Woman", is not new to the conversation around pay disparity.

After the film's box office success, there were stories that the actor was paid less than what her male counterparts earned in similar roles.

It reignited the debate around the gender pay gap, something that several female Hollywood actors-- from Jennifer Lawrence, Salma Hayek to Emma Watson-- have spoken about.

During a virtual global press conference for her latest National Geographic series "Impact With Gal Gadot", the actor was asked about her biggest struggle as a woman.

"My biggest struggle as a woman has been equal pay as my male co-stars, (all of) whom I love so much. As a woman, that has been the biggest thing. As a human being, I have struggled with many other problems. But the thing that I fought for the most, was equal pay with my male stars," Gadot replied.

The 35-year-old actor, now an influential Hollywood star, has come on board for National Geographic's "Impact With Gal Gadot" as an executive producer.

The six-part short-form documentary series will highlight stories of resilient women around the globe.

The series, Gadot said, was born out of her desire to steer her massive global reach towards issues that needed attention which the "cameras won't necessarily aim to cover."

The team decided it was the perfect opportunity to tell female-driven stories to inspire others to contribute towards the progress of society.

"There's something so refreshing to surround yourself and to hear, to see stories that are driven by good and goodwill... What makes the show unique is that you see women who come from problematic backgrounds- whether it's discrimination, natural disasters, or loss.

"Whatever it might be, they don't let it put them down. They use the pain that they are struggling with and turn it into something positive that can affect other people," she said.

According to the makers, "Impact" follows inspiring women living in "communities marred by violence, poverty, trauma, discrimination, oppression and natural disasters, and yet against all odds, they dare to dream, stand out, speak up."

The series will chronicle stories of six women- from a 19-year-old college student in Puerto Rico, a ballet dancer in Brazil, a trauma therapist from California to a formally homeless transwoman in Tennessee, fighting against odds and helping the community grow.

Gadot said when the team started researching for stories of courage of different women three years ago, the show was not limited to only the United States.

"Then COVID hit. Then we thought to go back to the sketch board and figure out domestic stories that will be strong enough to have an effect, inspire people. The amount of stories we found were mind-blowing...," she said.

While the show aims to put the spotlight on unsung women, Gadot's credits her mother and grandmother as her earliest role models.

Growing up in Israel, Gadot said her mother a teacher taught her and her younger sister to be "confident, to love ourselves, dream and dare."

The episodes will go live on Nat Geo Global YouTube channels, with the first one titled "Ice Breakers" scheduled to premiere on April 26.

These episodes will go live on the India YouTube channel, two days after the episodes have been published on the global YouTube channel.

The series would then premiere on National Geographic Channel India in the coming months.

Ahead of the premiere, Gadot hoped that the docu-series serves as a reminder to people that they hold the power to bring about a change, even if it looks daunting in the beginning.

"Over time, what I would love to be to happen, is to create a community of people who want to do good. The thing about doing good and making a change is that everyone wants to do it but we feel 'Where do we start?'

"The thing about the show and what it shows you is that it starts small. That you can start with small actions and actually have great impact," she added.

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