By Nidhi Kinhal
It’s 2017, and Wonder Woman is out there, breaking box office records and enemies’ heads. But a recent report by Variety reveals that Gal Gadot, the Israeli actress who played Wonder Woman, made only $3,00,000 for the movie.
That’s not all. The report goes on to say that Gadot has signed a three-movie deal with Warner Bros, at exactly that much pay for the other two movies as well. People went nuts when Lauren Duca, a columnist at Teen Vogue, pointed out that Henry Cavill made $14 million as Superman in Man of Steel, but the claims are unfounded and unreliable.
Vanity Fair quotes an inside source, who clarifies that “it would be insane for a studio to pay Cavill that much.” According to Vulture, “Cavill made a six-figure paycheck comparable to Gadot’s for Man of Steel and that his co-star Amy Adams, a much bigger name, pulled in seven figures to play his Lois Lane.” Maybe Gadot wasn’t paid that much, maybe it was more, but wage gap is still a larger institutional problem. As Vox reports, “Gadot’s contract is actually the norm for debut superhero movies: Little-known or unknown actors don’t make that much money when starring in their first superhero films.”
Closer home, actresses like Priyanka Chopra, Kangana Ranaut and Kalki Koechlin have spoken up about the massive wage gap in Bollywood. As of 2016, the Forbes India Celebrity List informs that Salman Khan has the highest earnings (at Rs 270.33 crore) whereas Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone, the only women in the top 10, earn less than half of what Salman does.
And what happens if you speak up? Remember Kangana Ranaut’s demand of Rs 11 crore for an upcoming Rajiv Menon film that eventually lost her out on that role, and put her on headlines for leaving filmmakers baffled? Or when Karan Johar was katti with Kareena Kapoor for 6 months because she demanded equal pay as her male co-star for a movie he approached her for? It just goes on and on.