I know what you’re thinking-oh! just another angry Palestinian bitter that and Israeli woman, Gal Gadot, was casted to play Wonder Woman. But it’s actually not that simple. No, I’m not anti Semitic for not support Gal Gadot, because being anti Semitic would be going against myself. In case you weren’t aware, being Semitic relates “to the peoples who speak the Semitic languages, especially Hebrew and Arabic.” Therefore, as a Palestinian Arab, it would make no sense whatsoever to be labeled as anti Semitic- I would be against myself. I have enough of the world anti me anyway. But let’s forget about the politics; let’s forget about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict aside, and let me explain why I will never support this woman.
Gal Gadot is not a person of color. Whether or not you consider Arabs and Jews (or should I say Semitic people in general because we both are!), Gal Gadot is very much white passing-her skin is fair and she has no distinct hair or facial features that would make her look nonwhite. If we want to discuss representation in the film industry, let’s discuss how few Hispanic/Latino and Black women are casted for powerful, leading roles like the role of Wonder Woman. I find it quite ironic that whenever a role needs to be filled for a laborer, film directors can find Hispanic/Latino women to fill that role, or when a movie needs a thug or impoverished woman is needed, there is an abundance of Black women to fill that gap. But whenever there is a need for a powerful woman to take on an important role, filmmakers seem to only cast white women? It seems a bit odd to me. Maybe it’s just a coincidence?
Even in tales about powerful non white women, white women take the lead. Scarlett Johansson took the role of Major Motoko Kusanagi, an Asian commander in the Japanese anime series “Ghost in the Shell.” So no. This isn’t’ about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This is about not giving Black/Latino/PoC actors the limelight they deserve. The director and producers behind Wonder Woman had the chance to make the film so empowering for those who aren’t represented in film enough, but it seems with this film, like the others, they missed their chance.