Maybe you saw or read the story about Gal Gadot only making $300,000 for appearing in the new Wonder Woman movie -- a movie that's raking in cash big time! The story prompted plenty of outrage, especially when compared to a $14 million salary allegedly paid to Henry Cavill for Man of Steel. Another example of Hollywood's wage disparity, where women make far less than men for starring roles.
It's true that there is a wage gap in Hollywood, and it should be troubling, but this is NOT one of those examples. According to an enlightening article at vox.com, this whole thing was started with a tweet by Lauren Duca of Teen Vogue.
That tweet, since deleted, is based on misinformation. Vulture finds that Henry Cavill made a six figure sum for Man of Steel, while his female co-star actually made seven figures -- much more than he did. His co-star was Amy Adams, and her star power earned her that salary. But what's most noteworthy in Vulture's reporting is this:
Gadot’s $300,000 paycheck is perfectly in line with the amount of money paid to most actors at the beginning of their superhero careers.
Some other superhero salaries, from the vox.com article:
- Chris Evans made $300,000 for Captain America: The First Avenger
- Chris Hemsworth paid $150,000 for Thor
- Robert Downey Jr made $500,000 for Iron Man -- and he was already famous
There are also performance bonuses, and our female (super)hero in this story is set to receive many times her base salary because of the film's runaway success. Gal Gadot is also going to get a big, BIG payday when she finally agrees to appear in the sequel. Millions and millions of dollars!
Acting is like any other job. You've got to put in the time, the hours, the work. You don't necessarily strike it rich the first time out. You build star power and eventually get the big check. Robert Downey Jr.'s base salary for Iron Man may have only been $500k, but he made $50 million for appearing (as Iron Man) in The Avengers.
If there's a lesson here, it's don't believe everything you hear. If it sounds wrong, like the idea that Henry Cavill made 46 times more for his movie than Gal Gadot for hers, that's reason for skepticism. And sadly, not all journalists can make this distinction. But in Lauren Duca's case, she didn't even apologize....