An article on ComicBook.com drew a lot of outrage this week when the author suggested that Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who stars as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince, is a person of color.
It led to journalist S.I. Rosenbaum writing an epic thread on Twitter about Jewish identity, Ashkenazi/Sephardim, and whiteness. I’d encourage you to read this thread rather than the ComicBook.com article.
The line that has been drawing all the outrage is as follows:
It might come as a shock, but there are people of color in the film, and one of them is in the lead role.
I’m sorry, what? Are you saying that Ashkenazi Jews, like Gadot, are people of color? While it’s true that many Jews were not allowed in select country clubs, fraternities, etc., we’re not exactly what one would call people of color. Yes, Judaism is both an ethnicity and religion but we’re still considered white when it comes to the ethnicity that one checks off when asked about demographics. If I were given the option to check of Ashkenazi or Jewish, I would.
The character of Wonder Woman is an Amazonian but that shouldn’t matter when it comes to Gadot portraying one of the big DC Comics trio on screen. Gadot is an Israeli Jew but she’s not a person of color so why should someone attempt to make the argument that a person of color is playing the lead role?!? It makes zero sense to me!
There does need to be more representation on the screen when it comes to people of color. Marvel has Black Panther on the schedule following his debut in Captain America: Civil War. DC beat Marvel when it comes to a female superhero in a starring role on the big screen. The fact that we are even having this conversation in 2017 is a dire shame.
There are better things to debate other than Gal Gadot’s skin tone. I haven’t seen the movie yet but expect to be doing so on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon when my schedule permits.