Actor Mark Wahlberg was reportedly paid $1.5 million to reshoot his scenes for a film while co-star Michelle Williams was paid a per diem rate ultimately totaling less than $1,000.
A number of Hollywood figures have declared that “Time’s Up” when it comes to misogyny — but the incident makes it clear the industry has a long way to go.
After sexual assault allegations emerged against another co-star, Kevin Spacey, cast members of the Ridley Scott drama All the Money in the World agreed to re-shoot their scenes with veteran actor Christopher Plummer replacing Spacey. In December, Scott told USA Today that the process was less costly than expected, ultimately totaling around $10 million.
“They all came in free. Christopher had to get paid. But Michelle, no. Me, no. I wouldn’t do that,” Scott said.
Williams reportedly felt strongly about re-shooting for little to no money as a matter of principle. “I said I’d be wherever they needed me, whenever they needed me,” she said. “And they could have my salary, they could have my holiday, whatever they wanted. Because I appreciated so much that they were making this massive effort.”
The actress ultimately earned a per diem of approximately $80 a day and missed out on spending Thanksgiving with her family.
Her co-star took a different approach. USA Today reported on Tuesday that although both actors are represented by William Morris Endeavor agency, Wahlberg’s representatives negotiated a fee that was 1,000 times higher than Williams’ pay. Wahlberg was named the highest paid actor of the year in 2017, earning around $68 million before taxes. Williams reportedly knew nothing about Wahlberg’s side pay negotiations for All the Money in the World.
Twitter users responded to the news with outrage. “Please go see Michelle’s performance in All The Money in The World. She’s a brilliant Oscar nominated Golden Globe winning actress. She has been in the industry for 20 yrs. She deserves more than 1% of her male costar’ s salary,” actress Jessica Chastain pleaded.
Esquire culture editor Tyler Coates was also not happy, saying Williams was “swindled.”
Re: this quote from Michelle Williams. Women and people of color and queer people are conditioned to play nice and work for the collective good over and over again. And then it’s their fault when it turns out they were swindled.
— Tyler Coates (@tylercoates) January 10, 2018
Bustle writer Casey Cipriani noted that, while Walhberg got the money, it was Williams’ performance that was nominated for a Golden Globe.
REMINDER THAT MICHELLE WILLIAMS WAS NOMINATED FOR A GOLDEN GLOBE FOR HER PERFORMANCE IN ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD AND MARKY MARK WAS NOT AND YET HE GOT ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD TO BE THERE.
— Casey Cipriani (@CaseyCip) January 10, 2018
Journalist Mark Harris said it was time for Sony to pay up.
According to Sony itself, Michelle Williams is the film's lead actress; Mark Wahlberg is a supporting actor. And the same agency, William Morris, represents both of them. Not good.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) January 10, 2018
News of the pay discrepancy comes as Hollywood continues to grapple with industry-wide allegations of assault and harassment. After dozens of women accused media mogul Harvey Weinstein of severe misconduct and sexual abuse, thousands of social media users used the #MeToo hashtag popularized by social activist Tarana Burke to share their own stories.
Williams is among a number of actresses supporting the recently-formed Time’s Up campaign, an effort to tackle systemic misogyny and sexual abuse both within the film industry and beyond. The actress, who joined peers in wearing black in support of Time’s Up, brought Burke as her Golden Globes date and lauded Burke’s efforts as a pioneer against sexism and harassment.
“I thought I would have to raise my daughter to learn how to protect herself in a dangerous world and I think because of the work Tarana has done and the work I am learning how to do, we actually have the opportunity to hand our children a different world,” she told interviewers during the red carpet portion of the event.
Representatives for Williams and Wahlberg have yet to respond to requests for comment on the pay issue.