Hollywood 2018: All the Money in the World–Gender Inequality

The pay disparity between what Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams received to reshoot scenes for All the Money In the World is the latest example of gender inequality in Hollywood.

USA Today reported that when Ridley Scott decided to reshoot scenes in the $40 million thriller in order to replace Kevin Spacey, who originally played billionaire J. Paul Getty, with new scenes featuring Christopher Plummer, Wahlberg was paid an additional $1.5 million, while Williams received a per diem allowance of about $1,000 for the extra shooting days.

The report presents an extreme case of a male actor lavishly rewarded while his female co-star was expected to work for less than one percent of his salary.

Jessica Chastain was among the first to publicize the disparity, tweeting, “Please go see Michelle’s performance in All the Money in the World. She’s a brilliant Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning actress. She has been in the industry for 20 years. She deserves more than 1% of her male costar’s salary.

Judd Apatow added in a tweet of his own, “This is so messed up that it is almost hard to believe. Almost. This is how this business works. I wonder if the studio or Wahlberg will do something to make the situation less insane.”

Both performers are with William Morris Endeavor, although each is repped by separate agents there, which only made things worse.

Ridley Scott and his team had to move quickly since the film’s scheduled release was just one month away. While the director needed both Williams, who plays Gail Williams, the mother of kidnap victim John Paul Getty III, and Wahlberg, who plays a former CIA operative who becomes involved in the attempts to secure the boy’s release, Williams agreed to return without making additional salary requests, unlike Wahlberg.

Imperative Entertainment, which financed the film, put up an additional $10 million for the reshoot. Sony, the US distributor, was not involved in the process of bringing back the cast and crew for the reshoots.

Wahlberg had earlier agreed to take about 80 percent of his usual salary–around $15 million.  Wahlberg is considered the bigger box-office draw, since he has starred in blockbusters like 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction. Wahlberg has appeared in 11 films that have grossed more than $100 million at the domestic box office, while Williams, who has generally gravitated to more dramatic, less commercial fare, has appeared in just two films that have hit that mark.

According to USA Today, Wahlberg also had co-star approval and would not approve Plummer’s casting until his salary demand was met.

One source says that unlike his co-stars, Wahlberg was not contractually obligated to do reshoots, while other reports have said that all the actors in the film had contracts that provided for reshoots.

It’s also unclear whether or not Williams knew that Wahlberg hadn’t yet committed to the reshoots when she agreed to participate. She may have been presented with a scenario in which she was told her participation was critical to rescuing the project.

In a December interview with USA Today, Williams recounted that when the idea of the reshoots arose, “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.”