Justice League opens tomorrow, so its stars are doing the full-court press. Which means Gal Gadot will glisten and be awesome, and Ben Affleck—even when clearly prepped by a savvy publicist—will prove himself to be a garbage person.
First the good news: producer/probably sexual predator Brett Ratner has been booted from working on Wonder Woman 2. Many have given Gadot credit for this, as she made it clear she did not want to work with Ratner in the wake of several sexual-misconduct allegations against him. But Gadot says she can’t take full credit. She explains it in this video from Today:
WATCH: Gal Gadot responds to report she didn’t want to work with Brett Ratner, who has faced sexual harassment allegations, on next installment of Wonder Woman pic.twitter.com/rBuSH2CE2Z— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 15, 2017
“The truth is, there’s so many people involved in making this movie—it’s not just me—and they all echoed the same sentiments. You know what I mean? So everyone knew what was the right thing to do, but there was nothing for me to actually come and say because it was already done before this article came out.”
Now if we could just dump Batfleck.
In a group interview with Gadot and their co-stars Jason Momoa, Henry Cavill, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher, Affleck somehow managed to turn a conversation about a potential sequel into what appears to be a rape joke.
Asked what DC heroes they’d like to see join the team, the men notably named superheroines. Which look, I’d like to believe that’s authentic, but it feels REAL coached, like “this will shut womenz up about how Wonder Woman is the only one on the team.” But hey, it’d be cool to get Black Canary, Supergirl, or Zatanna in the mix. So hopefully it’s not just lip service. But then, Affleck bungles it.
The reporter asks “What would you get up to if you had like Supergirl joining the team?” And Affleck—who has had his own run-ins with sexual misconduct including this videotaped incident you can’t unsee—decided now was the time to make a joke about all the headlines that have come out about abuse and harassment in the filmmaking industry.
“You following the news at all?” He asks, and then giggles. Looking at a female reporter, he fucking giggles as he makes a rape joke. Now, I’ve seen the “we don’t know that’s a rape joke” responses, but what else could he possibly be referring to?
But Affleck gonna Affleck, right? Let’s focus on how his co-stars responded. Here’s the screenshot, Affleck still delighted with himself.
Fisher, who plays Cyborg, pivots back to the question, saying, “It’s interesting to see the different dynamics. It’d be interesting to see a different flavor to the soup we got, a Justice League gumbo.”
His voice is calm. His message on point. But his face? It’s Jim from The Office, silently pleading for us to save him from the moron who somehow is making way more money than him while being a reckless asshat.
Miller, who you can probably tell from the cap plays The Flash, delivers “Bish no you didn’t” face with aplomb.
Here’s Cavill wishing he has Superman’s flesh-melting heat vision IRL. Us too, buddy. Us too!
Momoa, who recently issued an apology for an insensitive rape joke he made years ago, looks like he’s about to come out of his chair and pummel Affleck.
Lastly, some have criticized Gadot for this. She’s the only one who laughed along with Affleck, and how dare she smile!
You know what? This is a self-defense method women have developed for centuries. You smile at the catcaller. You laugh off the sexist joke. You are nice to a man harassing you, because you don’t know if he’s a crazy fucker who might murder you where you stand. (It happens.) This plastered on pleasantness becomes a protective habit we hope will keep things from getting worse.
Is it a flawed system? Sure is! But rather than criticizing the women who are doing their best to just live their damn lives without being attacked for having inadvertently attracted a rando man, maybe we can focus on the men who do the catcalling, the sexist joking, the attacking?
Anyway. Justice League opens tomorrow.