Michelle Williams Earned Less Than 1% of Mark Wahlberg’s Salary for Film Reshoots

After the allegations of sexual misconduct against Kevin Spacey came to light, Ridley Scott did what everyone else believed was impossible—he reshot all of Spacey’s scenes in All the Money in the World in just a week.

Determined not to let the entire film and the work of 800 people die because of one man’s crimes, the team got back to work.

Christopher Plummer replaced Kevin Spacey as J. Paul Getty and he and the other actors, including Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams, spent the week of Thanksgiving in Europe reshooting 22 scenes. Work that should have taken a month was finished in a quarter of the time and the film was released just 3 days after its initial release date.

The move was widely celebrated, and the filmmakers were praised for taking such a bold stance against sexual harassment (even if that stance was to preserve their own financial gains).

Even more impressive than the speedy timeline was the fact that, according to Ridley, everyone did the work for free. The crew was paid for their time, but as for himself and the actors, Ridley stated, “they all came in free. Christopher had to get paid. But Michelle, no. Me, no.”

According to Ridley, all the actors involved agreed to do the reshoots unpaid, or for a very modest fee. Apparently, no one told Mark Wahlberg.

Perhaps we should have all been more skeptical that Wahlberg’s name was not mentioned among the kind folks who donated their time for the greater good.

USA Today just reported that Mark Wahlberg actually earned $1.5 million for the reshoots. Michelle Williams’ salary during that time? Less than $1,000. She was paid an $80 per diem.

“I said I’d be wherever they needed me, whenever they needed me. 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,” Williams had previously told USA Today.

Wahlberg, on the other hand, was named by Forbes as the highest paid actor of 2017, raking in $68 million pre-tax. Both he and his agent Stephen Levinson (who works for the same agency which represents Williams) are known for tough salary negotiations.

Regardless of how much Wahlberg thinks he’s worth, a 99 percent gender pay gap is unacceptable. So whose fault is it? Williams, for being “too nice”? Her agent’s, for not negotiating hard enough on her behalf? Sony’s? Scott’s? Wahlberg’s?

I’m going to voice the likely unpopular opinion that Williams is the only person in this story who is not to blame.

She was essentially lied to and believed that coming in to do this work for (comparatively) little to no money was not only the right thing to do in order to correct someone else’s wrong, but also what everyone had agreed on.

That was not just the story she was told, but the story reported to all of us.

Williams’ agency, which represents both her and Wahlberg and gets a 10 percent cut of what they negotiate for her, certainly holds some of the blame.

Obviously, people involved with making the film knew about this pay gap. Three people came forward and spoke to USA Today about the information. Whether Ridley himself knew about the pay gap when he was giving those statements is unclear.

Wahlberg, though, knew that the reshoots-as-charity line was bogus and did nothing about it. But in a Jeremy Renner-like move he looked out only for himself and let his female co-star get cheated.

He could have chosen to be an ally and either disclose his salary to Williams or negotiate with her. There is precedent for such an action.

After the Sony leaks which revealed a huge pay disparity between male and female actors in American Hustle, Bradley Cooper pledged to work with his female co-stars to negotiate their salaries.

Even back in 2002, rather than negotiating his own contract, David Schwimmer convinced his Friends co-stars to negotiate their salaries together landing them all a $1 million per episode contract.

The circumstances of this pay gap make the disparity even more heinous. The reshoots occurred because of a sea of sexual misconduct and inequality in Hollywood.

There could not have been a better time for Wahlberg to act as an ally to his female coworker, and not a worse time for Sony to allow for such a huge pay disparity.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

80 comments

Clare O
Clare O3 months ago

th

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Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga3 months ago

thx

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Ruth S
Ruth S3 months ago

Perhaps Wahlberg had not been told, or plans on giving that amount to charity. I'd like to hear his side of the story before ridicule.

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Steve F
Steve F3 months ago

What is the lesson here? If your employer asked you to volunteer to work for free, beyond your contractual obligations, would you rather be like Mark Wahlberg or Michelle Williams? Especially when you have an agent to do your dirty work.

This is not a gender issue. It is shrewd negotiation. Or maybe arrogance. I give credit to the voluntary actors but hold nothing against Mark Wahlberg.

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Glennis W
Glennis Whitney3 months ago

So wrong deplorale Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis Whitney3 months ago

Deplorable Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis Whitney3 months ago

This is deplorable Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis Whitney3 months ago

OMG Thank you for caring and sharing

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Danuta W
Danuta W3 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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hELEN hEARFIELD
hELEN hEARFIELD3 months ago

tyfs

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