Did you guys read that viral story about Gal Gadot getting paid only $300,000 for Wonder Woman while Henry Cavill took home $14 million for his debut as Superman?
It sounds outrageous!
But if that numerical discrepancy sounds a little beyond belief, that’s because the story is pretty misleading.
The gender pay gap is a very real thing, but people citing these specific numbers for Gal Gadot and Henry Cavill don’t necessarily have the whole story.
Wonder Woman was a great film, even though it had a silly controversy attached to it.
Man of Steel … was not good. Parts of it didn’t make sense, and it seemed like a betrayal of Superman’s character.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was also bad. Famously so.
Both of those bad films, however, raked in huge numbers at the box office. So has (and is) Wonder Woman, of course.
There’s no telling the quality that Justice League is going to have, but you can bet that it’s going to do well financially.
How much those stars are paid really matters.
First of all, Gal Gadot’s $300,000 is a base pay for each DC film that she’s done so far.
We don’t know exactly what Henry Cavill’s base pay is, but Vanity Fair was able to confirm that no, Henry Cavill did not make $14 million for just one picture.
When we’re talking about Henry Cavill’s numbers, we need to keep in mind that we’re looking at his base pay for multiple films, plus bonus checks that he’s received for doing well at the box office.
We don’t know what his base pay is, just like we don’t know what sorts of bonuses Gal Gadot is looking at for Wonder Woman‘s success (or the success of Dawn of Justice, for that matter).
The grim reality is that Gal Gadot’s deal with Warner Bros stands a strong chance of not being as lucrative as Henry Cavill’s.
Even though her movie was praised by critics, and even though her Wonder Woman is more in character than Cavill’s inexplicably grimdark fisherman (though, to be fair, that’s not his choice).
Because the gender pay gap is real.
But “less” doesn’t mean “only making about 2% of what he is per film,” because that would be mind-blowing.
Hopefully, since this story is so intensely viral, someone will the actual numbers will come out with them soon.
It’s worth noting that the first Avengers movie had a massive pay gap between Robert Downey Jr. and nearly every other cast member, including Scarlett Johansson.
But that’s, you know, Robert Downey Jr.
A lot of people pointed out this similar pay gap when the Gal Gadot story started circulating, but that’s a situation where one actor’s status is just ludicrously higher than others (for reasons that we only kind of understand).
Before playing Superman, Henry Cavill wasn’t already a household name who’d been in the news for decades.
So while we don’t expect whatever numbers come out of this story to make us smile, we hope that they won’t make us want to riot.
Remember to look carefully at viral stories, folks.