When director Ridley Scott announced he was going to reshoot his upcoming film, All The Money In The World, to replace Kevin Spacey, he was met with great praise. Just weeks before its scheduled release date, Scott cast Christopher Plummer in Spacey’s role and brought the rest of the cast back for a reshoot that reportedly cost $10 million. It was so important to those involved in the film to replace the disgraced original actor that everyone reshot the film for free. Except they didn’t.
According to USA Today, Mark Wahlberg actually negotiated a hefty fee for the reshoot to the tune of $1.5 million. His female co-star, Michelle Williams, agreed to be paid a nominal fee of $80 a day, amounting to under $1,000. That’s not even one per cent of Wahlberg’s pay packet.
It perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise that Williams was paid less than Wahlberg – Hollywood is notorious for its gender pay gap, and Wahlberg is one of its best paid stars. He was named the highest paid actor of 2017 by Forbes’ annual list, earning over $68 million in a year. (He was also revealed as the most overpaid actor too – his last three movies bombed at the box office.)
Williams, meanwhile, is lauded critically: she has been nominated for four Oscars (double the amount Wahlberg has been up for), and won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe. At last week’s Golden Globes, Williams was nominated for best actress in a drama for her performance in All The Money In The World; Wahlberg’s nomination was nowhere to be seen. Despite these industry accolades, and the success of Manchester By The Sea at last year’s Oscars, Williams doesn’t even appear on the list of the highest paid actors in Hollywood. The gap between Wahlberg’s and Williams’ pay becomes heartbreaking when you read that Williams told USA Today of the reshoot, “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." This feels even more despicable when you learn they are represented by the very same talent agency, WME.
Wahlberg was named the highest paid actor of 2017 by Forbes’ annual list, earning over $68 million in a year. He was also revealed as the most overpaid actor – his last three movies bombed at the box office.
When Forbes’ list of the highest-paid actors was released in August last year, the size of Hollywood’s gender pay gap was laid bare. While the likes of Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel earned upwards of $50 million, the highest paid actress, Emma Stone, was paid $26 million, placing her 15th on the list. According to the associate professor of industrial relations at Warwick Business School, Deborah Dean, one of the reasons for the gap is that there are fewer roles for women across the board, meaning more women are competing for the same jobs and therefore pushing the fee down.
It appears Hollywood’s problem with women is all-encompassing, stretching from sexual harassment to an impossibly large pay gap. Michelle Williams received no more than a pat on the back for her dedication to her job and her willingness to drop everything to reshoot. There are many people we can blame – her agents, Ridley Scott, Wahlberg – but what is most clear is that there needs to be a total restructuring of how the industry pays it’s women. Because guess what? Time’s up for that too.