All the Money in the World actor Mark Wahlberg and his agency have donated $2 million to the #TimesUp legal fund in Michelle Williams’ name. The move comes after news of a massive pay discrepancy between Wahlberg and Williams during the film’s much publicized reshoots. Both actors agreed to return for reshoots after director Ridley Scott replaced Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer. Spacey was cut from the film just weeks before release in the wake of sexual assault allegations.
All the Money in the World details the real-life kidnapping of oil heir John Paul Getty III. Plummer plays billionaire J. Paul Getty, who refuses to pay the ransom on his grandson. Wahlberg plays Fletcher Chase, an ex-CIA man who investigates the kidnapping on the Gettys’ behalf. Michelle Williams plays Gail Harris, John Paul Getty III’s mother. Ridley Scott received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director after scrambling to reshoot Spacey’s scenes and submitting the film just under the wire.
After the Spacey mess, further controversy erupted when it emerged that Mark Wahlberg had received $1.5 million for participating in reshoots while Michelle Williams had forgone extra pay only receiving the legal minimum $1,000. After backlash, Wahlberg has now donated the entire $1.5 million to #TimesUp, the legal fund established to support victims of sexual abuse. As reported by Deadline, Wahlberg’s agency WME will donate an additional $500,000.
Criticism of Wahlberg’s massive pay-out compared with Williams’ relatively meager compensation was inevitable given the current climate in Hollywood. In recent months, conversations about the gender pay gap in entertainment have become more and more public. At the same time, Hollywood has seen the rise of movements seeking to eliminate sexual harassment from the industry. Appropriately, #TimesUp and #MeToo protests dominated the recent Golden Globes. Stars showed solidarity with the movements by dressing in black to the awards while sporting #TimesUp pins. During her award speech, Oprah Winfrey added her considerable voice to the call for an end to harassment. Natalie Portman too spoke up, zinging the Globes on-air for nominating only men in the Best Director category.
As bad as things already were for Wahlberg, they got even worse upon reports that he refused to sign off on Christopher Plummer replacing Spacey in All the Money in the World until he got his $1.5 million. After the public learned of this cynical business move, Wahlberg arguably had no choice but to make things right. Wahlberg has now made the proper financial gesture and no doubt hopes the controversy will go away. Every awards season has its controversies, but this year’s have been bigger and more important than ever before.
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