All the Money in the World star Michelle Williams and Saturday Night Live delivered different responses Saturday to Mark Wahlberg’s donation of his reshoot salary from the film following a controversy earlier in the week. Outcry arose over a USA Today report that found a huge pay discrepancy between Williams and Wahlberg while reshooting scenes for director Ridley Scott’s true-life drama All the Money in the World. Following allegations of sexual assault against Kevin Spacey – who originally played oil tycoon J. Paul Getty – Scott proceeded with the unprecedented move of cutting Spacey’s performance from the film and replacing him with Oscar-winner Christopher Plummer.
Facing a tight deadline to reshoot the Getty scenes and reassemble the film in time to qualify for an awards season run, Scott put the film back into production around Thanksgiving. As a gesture to keep the cost of reshoots down, Scott and Williams did the reshoots for free (apart from a daily per diem for Williams), while Wahlberg’s agents negotiated their client’s return to the set for $1.5 million. Williams reportedly didn’t know that Wahlberg was getting paid for the reshoots, even though she and her co-star were both represented by the William Morris Agency. Plus, in a follow-up report, an anonymous source said Wahlberg would not sign off on the recasting of Plummer until he was assured his reshoot fee.
On Saturday, after days of taking a PR battering, Wahlberg announced he was donating his $1.5 million reshoot salary in Williams’ name to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund to support victims of sexual abuse, while WMA donated an additional $500,000. According to The Wrap, Williams praised Wahlberg for his donation to Time’s Up, in a statement. In addition, Williams praised actor Anthony Rapp, who was the first person to level accusations against Spacey.
“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.”
SNL, however, had a different take on the Wahlberg controversy, which was addressed in a Weekend Update commentary by cast member Aidy Bryant. In a backhanded compliment for Wahlberg, Bryant says it was “great” that Wahlberg donated his reshoot salary, adding, “That’s the right thing to do, but it would be so cool if it didn’t take a week-long public shaming to do the right thing. Maybe do a daily private shaming, which is what I have done my entire f—ing life.”
While Wahlberg had no choice to but to donate his reshoot salary to avoid further public shaming, Bryant’s right. It’s a shame that it took so long. But don’t think the controversy is over yet. It will be interesting to see how, if at all, the controversy affects his and Williams’ relationship with WME, which were obviously a party to the controversy on both sides of the equation.
Scott may end up questioning his relationship with WME as well, since he is also represented by them. After the miraculous feat of reshooting and reassembling All the Money in the World in such a short time frame, the last thing he or the film needed was any negative attention, especially the week Motion Picture Academy members’ Oscar nomination ballots were due.
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