It’s well documented that Mark Wahlberg is kind of an asshole, but he’s taken a lot of steps within the last two decades to at least publicly correct that.
There was a public uproar when it was revealed that Wahlberg made 1,000 times more money for re-shoots of All The Money In The World than co-star (and multiple Oscar nominee) Michelle Williams did. However, that doesn’t necessarily make Wahlberg the bad guy here: Re-shoots were written into Williams’ original contract, not Wahlberg’s, which is a big reason why he charged such a hefty fee for his.
Wahlberg, in light of the public backlash against the pay disparity, donated the entire $1.5 million sum to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund.
“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.”
The real villains here seem to be the William Morris Endeavor (WME), which reps both stars. Why would they make such different deals? And also, keep in mind that we don’t know what Williams’ actual salary was for the film — if he had more money up front, that may be why their contracts varied in terms of a re-shoot budget. (WME are donating an additional $500,000 to Time’s Up in Williams’ name.)
WME told Deadline in a statement, “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. In recognition of the pay discrepancy on 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 in a statement obtained by The Los Angeles Times, “Today isn’t about me. 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.”
Time will tell if anyone jumps ship from WME after this PR disaster. But again: There are plenty of legitimate reasons to detest Mark Wahlberg. This really isn’t one of them.