In defense of Gal Gadot – I guess “girl power” cheers stop when money is involved?

Some of you people don’t know a hero when you see one.

I’m going to do something here that goes against every fiber of my being…I’m going to defend the price actors and actresses charge for autographs.  Second only to cosplayers who narcissistically stop dead in the middle of an isle, blocking traffic as though the entire convention center is their personal photography studio, celebrities at comic book conventions are the bane of my existence…HOWEVER…

…deep breath…

I have to say some things in reaction to stories I have seen about Gal Gadot the actress who starred in the recent Wonder Woman, and Justice League Movies.

Gal Gadot and Henry Cavill are charging fans $350 for an autograph and photo at ACE Comic-Con

That headline itself is misleading, that 350.00 is for BOTH of thier autographs…it’s not 350.00 for Gal Gadot’s autograph. The common reactions to hearing how much an autograph costs fall into these categories or variations of them

– they are picking the pockets of the fans who made them who they are.

-That is an unreasonable price for just signing your name and they are greedy.

The fans who made them?  That is putting the cart in front of the horse.  The fans didn’t make them, they made fans.  They earned the fans with their work. “Fans” don’t just benevolently pick a name out of a hat and all decide to give that person support and a career. Gal is a perfect example of how wrong headed this attitude is. She had no “fans” a year ago…most DC fans where bitching that she was wrong for the part and too small/skinny. She proved them wrong, and did a great job and made the movie a bigger success than people thought because of her HARD WORK. If she did a poor job and the movie flopped would these supposed  benevolent fans  be supporting her? no…they would be calling for someone else to play the role next time, and rightfully so.  So no…the “fans” are not the reason she gets paid…she gets paid because she created fans where there where none before.

…her even bothering to show up for this sort of thing IS giving back to her fans. She doesn’t need to do this at all. She doesn’t need to work another day in her life as far as cash goes…much less sit at a folding table for two days, signing autographs for, interacting with and taking pictures with complete strangers.

175.00 is too high? How about 10.00 then? or 5.00? how about 1.00? understand this. She …let’s all stop and realize what she makes now, per work day, as an actress. Why in the blue hell should she make a fraction of that for a full day of her time at an appearance? That she does not have to do?…time she could be using to get more jobs, to prepare for other roles, or spend with her family. AND of that 175.00 a percentage goes to the people who run the con. another percentage goes to her manager, another percentage goes to her assistants. It’s likely that she is only getting 60-75.00 of that into her own pocket. How many autographs do you think she can give out in one day? enough to even sniff at what she normally earns for a days work? no…not even close. Would you do that? would you make 10% of what you usually earn to sign autographs? To answer the same questions over and over, to smile and be patient while being pawed at and dealing with scores of people who are sometimes nervous to the point of being rude? Instead of using that time for other things?

It’s greedy? It’s a huge pay cut is what it is. She is an in demand actress in the prime of her career. She could be going over potential scripts, making deals, working on her craft or a thousand other things that benefit her more in the long term and short term. and you look down on her for this?? she’s not putting a gun to anyone’s head and demanding payment. she taking time out of her busy schedule to do something for fans, who feel that autograph and meeting are worth the money.

Also, those autographs have resale value. should she charge less than someone else does for HER autograph? The convention makes money hand over fist to get people in the door to see her, the people reselling the autographs make money, the movie studio made money, WW merchandise makes money…everyone gets to make money but she’s supposed to charge the same as the third Klingon from the left in one episode of star trek?! the woman who made the movie a bigger success than anyone thought possible when she was hired?! ridiculous and unfair.

I can’t help but notice that I haven’t seen this much made about the cost  of an autograph…until Gal.  I’ve seen stories here or there, but this show/her price has had a lot of buzz.  and I feel obligated to point out…deep breath…I can’t believe I, of all people, am saying this…it’s a bit sexist.  Why am I not seeing this written as a positive thing that a female actress is getting top dollar for her autograph instead of writers thumbing their nose at her?

These stories each point out that her autograph is higher than the guys who played the flash or cyborg…

The woman who had the biggest hit movie charges more than people who have been in smaller roles…in a movie that flopped?  a movie that the only bright spot was HER?  no sh*t. Should she take less than them? should she not make more since she was the LEAD in an ever bigger movie, is bringing in more fans? Since her time is more valuable?  unfair and ridiculous.

She’s getting more than everyone else? Good. Good for her. What people fail to realize when hearing about giant salaries of entertainers, or even athletes is that they are competitive people in a competitive industry.  You think they notice a difference in 20 million or 22 million dollars any more than you? No, it’s about the pecking order. It is about who is the most valuable. It is a big dick measuring contest and Gal has marched in and said ” I have the biggest dick around here” and I say “you go girl! Whip that thing out and shove it around”

and let’s talk about all those other people who charge for autographs…the third Klingon from the left, or the guy who was a bit player on a tv show decades ago.  They charge a bit for autographs too.  “For just signing their name”….?  Actually they did a lot more than just sign their name to earn that money.  They toiled and sacrificed for their profession. They went “all in” on their dream…has anyone bitching about the price done that? Went all in on a goal, with no safety net?  They worked hard, they sacrificed much, they took risks and achieved a modest amount of accomplishment in the course of their life…and now they are making money with the option that is open to them.  they brought some joy and memories into peoples lives, contributed in some way to the pop culture that has formed our actual culture…THAT is what they are charging for.  That is how they are paying thier bills.

Do you think that bit actor can just turn around and become a lawyer? a surgeon, even a mechanic? He/she has developed their skill set and gone as far as they were able and it is in most cases too late to find a new path. and by the way, they are not doing this every single day. maybe some of them are doing it 30-40 weekends a year.  How many autographs at 40.00 each do you think they can do in a weekend?  enough to get rich? no. Likely enough to earn a living equal to all the people they know who didn’t take the risky path or devote themselves, their time, and their efforts solely to a profession.

So what happens to the value of their autographs if the biggest pop culture star on the screen now drops her price?  It goes down.  and they stop doing shows, and their fans lose out and stop going to shows, and the shows dry up and no one can get Gal’s autograph for any price unless they sneak into the movie studio lot.  There’s a LOT that the people bitching about her 175.00 autograph haven’t considered…because it’s easy to look at the end result, to see things in a vacumm and say “175.00 for just signing your name”.  But nothing happens in a vacumm…if it did we wouldn’t be talking about this because no one would pay her for an autograph.  But they do, because it is worth it to them, and in their eyes, and mine…she is worth it.

She did something that almost no one else has done…she had me leaving a movie feeling good. and if she did that for me, than she did it even more so for millions of other people.  Those other actors/actresses did the same for other people.  How much money have we all spent in the course of our lives trying to feel good, to make ourselves happy?  I know I’ve spent a f*ck of a lot more than 175.00 on things, events, that didn’t make me smile as much as Wonder Woman did…and I don’t even have an autograph to show for any of it.

This time of year, happiness is in abundance for some and a tragic rarity for others.  Stop pissing on the people who bring joy into the world. and stop pissing on the things that make other people happy.

When Douglas is not here, he and his work can be found at www.arseniclullaby.com

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