All The Money In The World has had a hell of a time, eh? First Kevin Spacey, who had a key role in the film, was accused of allegedly trying to seduce actor Anthony Rapp when he was 14 years old. Then director Ridley Scott reshot all of Spacey’s scenes in the film with Christopher Plummer playing his role instead. This move was celebrated but also risky, given that the reshoots took place in November and the film was due to be released in December. But it all worked out, and the now Spacey-less film made it to theaters in time for the holidays. Then last week the news broke that there was a massive pay discrepancy for those infamous reshoots. Michelle Williams agreed to come back and reshoot the scenes, earning an $80 per diem rate, while her co-star Mark Wahlberg earned a whopping $1.5 million for those additional days.
Now, I’m not sure exactly how the negotiations went down — though it should be noted that both Williams and Wahlberg are repped by the same agency, William Morris Endeavor — but it sounds like Wahlberg’s team was able to fight for the hefty payday by withholding his contractual casting approval of Plummer until his demands were met (and in light of the fact that he had initially taken a pay cut to participate in the movie). It’s unclear whether Williams knew what Wahlberg was being paid, but it sounds like she basically donated her time for the reshoots, telling USA Today “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.”
Naturally, the reveal of this massive discrepancy sparked an outcry and made Wahlberg look… well, kinda greedy, if we’re being honest. So on Saturday Mark Wahlberg released a statement, announcing that he would be donating his $1.5 million payday to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in Michelle Williams’ name. On top of that, their agency WME would be donating an additional $500,000 in her name as well. In response, Williams gave the following statement:
“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. Anthony Rapp, for all the shoulders you stood on, now we stand on yours.”
So that’s it, right? That’s a happy ending! Voices were raised against a predator, and that predator lost his job. Then they were raised again against inequality, and steps were taken to rectify it as well. That’s accountability in action. Though, as Aidy Bryant pointed out on SNL this weekend, it would be nice if it didn’t take a week of public shaming to get someone to do the right thing.