Michelle Williams responds to Mark Wahlberg offer to donate $1.5 million after pay discrepancy revealed
In the wake of a controversy sparked by reports that Mark Wahlberg earned roughly $1.5 million for reshoots on the set of “All the Money in the World” while costar Michelle Williams was paid only a fraction of that amount, Wahlberg and the agency that represents him, William Morris Endeavor, announced Saturday that they would be donating $2 million to Time’s Up, a legal defense fund set up to combat inequality and harassment in Hollywood.
“Over the last few days, my reshoot fee for All the Money in the World has become an important topic of conversation,” Wahlberg said in a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “I 100 percent support the fight for fair pay and I’m donating the $1.5 million to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in Michelle Williams’ name.”
WME, which also represents Williams, announced that it would be donating $500,000 to Time’s Up.
“The current conversation is a reminder that those of us in a position of influence have a responsibility to challenge inequities, including the gender wage gap,” read a statement from WME. “In recognition of the pay discrepancy on the ‘All the Money in the World’ reshoots, WME is donating an additional $500,000 to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in Michelle Williams’ name, following our $1 million pledge to the organization earlier this month. It’s crucial that this conversation continues within our community and we are committed to being part of the solution.”
Williams responded Saturday evening to the actions by Wahlberg and WME with a statement released by a representative: “Today isn’t about me,” the actress said. “My fellow actresses stood by me and stood up for me, my activist friends taught me to use my voice, and the most powerful men in charge, they listened and they acted. If we truly envision an equal world, it takes equal effort and sacrifice. Today is one of the most indelible days of my life because of Mark Wahlberg, WME and a community of women and men who share in this accomplishment.”
“All the Money in the World” director Ridley Scott embarked on a whirlwind of hasty reshoots late last year when the news broke that the film’s original star, Kevin Spacey, faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Scott recast Christopher Plummer in the place of Spacey, who portrayed billionaire industrialist J. Paul Getty in a story inspired by the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III.
Williams ended her statement with a reference to the actor who first came forward with his story about Spacey’s behavior, leading to others coming forward. “Anthony Rapp, for all the shoulders you stood on,” she said, “now we stand on yours.”
Wahlberg, who played a former CIA agent who helped the Gettys with the case, and Williams, who played Gail Harris, the mother of the kidnapped boy, reconvened for multiple days of reshoots. Williams was said to have received only a per diem that totaled about $1,000 while Wahlberg and his agent negotiated an additional fee of $1.5 million.
The news of the pay discrepancy caught fire on the internet, fanned by a climate of increased awareness of sexual harassment and gender inequality in Hollywood that followed Ronan Farrow’s expose on sexual misconduct by mogul Harvey Weinstein, which ran in the New Yorker in October 2017.
The increased scrutiny manifested at last weekend’s Golden Globes ceremony in the form of multiple actresses and actors showing solidarity by wearing all-black on the red carpet, along with pins that read “Time’s Up” in support of the fund started by Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Aniston and Shonda Rhimes.
The organization has reportedly received upward of 11,000 donations from people and organizations that included many on Hollywood’s A-list.
In August, Forbes named Wahlberg the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, earning an estimated $68 million between June 2016 and June 2017 to top Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who earned about $65 million. The highest-paid woman on the list, Emma Stone, earned $26 million.
“All the Money in the World” opened on Dec. 22, and so far has earned just over $22 million at the box office.
5:55 p.m.: This story was updated with Michelle Williams’ response.
This story was originally posted at 12:15 p.m.
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