Mark Wahlberg Donates $1.5 Million to Time's Up in Michelle Williams' Name After Pay Gap Controversy
Mark Wahlberg donated $1.5M to Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in Michelle Williams' name to recognize the pay discrepancy on the reshoots for All the Money in the World
In the wake of criticism over news that Mark Wahlberg made $1.5 million for extensive reshoots on All the Money in the World while his costar Michelle Williams received only a per diem of $80 a day, the 46-year-old actor has decided to donate $1.5 million to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which combats harassment and pay inequities in Hollywood.
“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 PEOPLE. “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.”
Wahlberg’s agency William Morris Endeavor company is also making a $500,000 donation.
“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,” WME said. “In recognition of the pay discrepancy on the 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.”
Earlier this week, USA Today revealed the wage disparity for the reshoots on the Ridley Scott film, which were planned after its original star Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual harassment and assault by multiple men. Christopher Plummer was chosen to replace Spacey as billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty in the movie, which tells the story surrounding his grandson’s kidnapping.
To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidized legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organization of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.
Though many pointed towards Wahlberg’s higher salary as an example of the gender pay gap issue, a source tells PEOPLE it was a function of his contract.
“When Mark Wahlberg signed on to All the Money in the World, he agreed to a significant salary cut from his usual quote,” an insider said, verifying news of Wahlberg’s reduced salary first reported by The New York Times.
“At the same time, he had in his contract a say in casting approval,” the source added of Wahlberg’s costar approval clause first reported by USA Today, noting that the actor refused to work with Plummer until he was paid over $1 million.
“Michelle Williams agreed to a salary for the movie and, as is standard, had a clause that allowed for a certain amount of reshoot time if she could make herself available, ” the source added. “Once the Spacey situation happened, Michelle nicely, wholeheartedly and voluntarily made herself available for reshoots and in turn was paid the per diem reshoot rate. As for Mark, and because he had casting approval, he decided to take advantage of that part of his contract and renegotiate his overall movie fee before filming with Christopher Plummer could proceed.”
The source continued, “It wasn’t that he was paid an extra million for the reshoot while Michelle and all the other costars were just paid per diem for the reshoot. He opted to renegotiate his overall deal. So in this case, it isn’t a male/female pay gap issue, but rather a huge A-list star, who was already being paid way less than his usual quote, using his contract and his say in casting to negotiate an overall bigger paycheck.”
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Williams was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as Gail Harris in the thriller.
She recently weighed in on the personal sacrifices she made for the reshoots, admitting she missed Thanksgiving with her daughter in order to work.
Scott previously said the returning cast members appeared in the reshoots for free.
“No, I wouldn’t get paid, I refused to get paid,” Scott told USA Today in December, adding that most of the staff waived their fees. “Christopher had to get paid. But Michelle, no. Me, no.”
At the time, the director was not aware of any additional salary negotiations, reports TMZ.
On Saturday, Williams released a statement to PEOPLE, thanking her fellow actresses as well as Wahlberg and the “powerful men in charge” for taking action.
“Today isn’t about me,” she said. “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 sacrafice, ” she continued. “Today is one of the most indelible days of my life because Mark Wahlberg, WME and a community of women and men who share in this accomplishment. Anthony Rapp, for all the shoulders you stood on, now we stand on yours.”
Rapp, the actor who first spoke out about Spacey’s alleged sexual misconduct, sparked the movement that would eventually lead to Spacey’s firing from All the Money in the World and the reshoots with Plummer.