Between Kylie Jenner pregnancy rumors and Stranger Things 2, no one really has or takes the time to research the person they “stan.” Hollywood and celebrity news is so fast; she did that, he said that. It’s exciting to follow. It’s some inconsequential banter to fill up our free time.
Through coverage and their own content creation, some celebrities have earned themselves the accolades of being regarded as philanthropists, as role models, as heroes. It’s great to see famous people be good people, it gives us a reason to adore them more. Except when they’re not. When they stand idle in the face of adversity or even contribute to a hateful world, and simply put up a facade of an on-brand feminism. However, no one seems to really know or care about the difference.
One of these people who really frustrates me is Gal Gadot. Her 2017 movie Wonder Woman was a box-office success. Its message centralizes around female empowerment and the eradication of war, as it takes place during WW1. Since the release of the movie, many have praised Gadot for being a modern feminist icon. However, they couldn’t be more wrong about Gadot’s position about war. As it is widely known, Gadot is Israeli. Her upbringing and her contributions to the Israeli Defense Force, as well as her outspokenness, do more than enough to bring her the label zionist.
A Zionist, as fellow Affinity writer Tharushi Hetti puts it, is “someone who supports the occupation of Palestinian land by Israel, which includes the war crimes committed by the Israelian military.” Gal Gadot, by any definition, is not a feminist. Her work with Wonder Woman does not redeem her pro-war and extremely harmful sentiments. Her widespread support from the feminist and Hollywood community brings is shameful and unhealthy on the standards of our society.
Another name that I can’t stand is Selena Gomez, which is a real shame, because much of my own childhood was spent idolizing her. She had a hand in producing the uber-popular Netflix original 13 Reasons Why, which I watched and initially liked, even though some of it was too much for me. Following its release, many mental health experts came out to say that 13 Reasons Why took a harmful approach to heavy topics such as suicide and sexual assault. Its portrayal in the series was thought to have triggered survivors and encouraged self-destructive behavior.
Suicide is approached as a “revenge fantasy,” almost glamorizing it. Moreover, it included extremely graphic scenes depicting rape, which as said before, would trigger survivors. Through thick and thin, however, Gomez insisted that the show was meant to raise awareness and eliminate stigmas. Although the way it was handled was disastrous, I’ll give it to her. Sure. She did it with the right intentions.
Thought it wouldn’t get worse? It did. Gomez auditioned three times to be in a Woody Allen movie, who was accused by his daughter of molesting her as a child. Right after her 13RW work. When asked about it, she addressed the Weinstein allegations and said, “Wow. The universe works in interesting ways.” Selena Gomez doesn’t care about sexual assault. Or suicide prevention. She wanted money. It was all a cash grab.
I can’t do much more than urge people do their reading on a person before deciding to support them or before giving them a title they don’t deserve. It’s harmful. It diminishes the causes that are worth fighting for — the ones that Gadot and Gomez only pretend to care about.
We, as a society, need to hold celebrities to the same standards that we would anyone else. Don’t let them be dubious. And, most of all, don’t praise them unless they actually deserve it.