Gal Gadot isn’t just a superhero on screen. A report surfaced this weekend that the actress is flexing her muscles to stand up to director and producer Brett Ratner after several women came forward with stories of his sexual misconduct toward them. Rumor has it that if he remains involved in Wonder Woman 2, she won’t star in it. While a Warner Bros. rep told Page Six that the rumor is false, this situation warrants a closer look.
Olivia Munn, who has written and spoken about an incident in which Ratner masturbated in front of her, took to Twitter to explain. She outlined how Warner Bros. and Ratner’s production company are still heavily connected to each other, to the tune of $450 million in financing. If that deal remains intact, she said it’s as if the studio has slapped him on the wrist while continuing to work with him, much like the entire industry did after he was caught saying “rehearsing is for fags” in 2011.
Lst wk Warner Bros. removed Ratner’s name from upcoming movies YET their $450 mil deal w RatPac remained in place. Publicly slap his wrist but continue to work with him. Same response as in 2011 😞 BUT there’s a report that @GalGadot drew a line in the sand. If true, AMAZING ❤️ https://t.co/ZyDIBOZqkD
— om (@oliviamunn) November 12, 2017
When the Los Angeles Times first reported on the six women’s stories of Ratner’s sexual misconduct, Ratner himself announced that he was “choosing to personally step away from all Warner Bros.- related activities.” According to Deadline, he no longer had an office on the studio lot, was removed from the Goldfinch project, and would not have his first-look deal with the studio renewed.
Ratner is no mere producer and director, however; he is one half of RatPac-Dune Entertainment, a production company that has co-financed roughly 25 percent of Warners’ movies since 2013. Those include Wonder Woman and the other DC Comics movies, Gravity, The LEGO Movie, and It. The $450 million deal (which was set up by Steven Mnuchin, the current Treasury Secretary) is set to continue through March 2018.
Just because Ratner is not physically on the lot doesn’t mean the studio has given him back all his investment capital, as Munn asserted. When Warner Bros. announced it was cutting ties with Ratner, Deadline speculated that if RatPac continued under the leadership of his partner, Len Blavatnik, the production company’s deal might even be extended. But, if the studio continues to feel the pressure to end its relationship with RatPac entirely, it will have to find a new company to co-finance its films.
That is where this supposed move by Gadot would come in. Women fueled the box-office success of Wonder Woman to the tune of $821M worldwide. In addition to proving that a female superhero could open a movie, the film proved that a female director, Patty Jenkins, could handle a multi-million dollar action franchise. If the actress and the millions of women who would pay to see a sequel are allowed by the movie industry hold just as much financial power as a longtime member of the Hollywood establishment, well, that sounds like a battle the Amazonian goddess herself would like to fight.
If the studio were to end the RatPac deal before finding new financing, it would be huge. It would mean putting the safety of women and the rights of survivors of sexual predators, as well as the revenue-driving potential of women, above a safe-bet investor who is also a serial abuser.
As of right now, Page Six is the only source of the rumor that Gadot is taking this latest stand against Ratner. Whether it is true or not, it has taken hold of public imagination not just because it’s a move ripped straight out of Wonder Woman’s playbook, but because many women are starting to have conversations about whether or not the consequences for men in Hollywood found to be abusers will stick.
Previously, Gadot backed out of an appearance where she was to present Ratner with an award at the Jewish National Fund, just before L.A. Times published its story. She has also taken to Instagram to make a perfectly Wonder Woman -like statement about sexual predators, in October after the Weinstein news broke.
Both Gadot and Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins have officially signed on to do the sequel, which is slated for release in December 2019.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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