Michelle Williams says she was “paralyzed in feelings of futility” when she first found out that she was paid a fraction of the salary her co-star Mark Wahlberg got for their work in “All The Money In The World.”
Both William and Wahlberg were asked to reshoots their scenes in Ridley Scott’s movie after Kevin Spacey, accused of sexual misconduct by multiple men, was replaced by Christopher Plummer.
“In late 2017, the news broke that I’d been paid less than $1,000 compared to the $1.5 million that my male counterpart had received for the exact same amount of work,” Williams said Tuesday. “And guess what? No one cared.”
Advocating for the Paycheck Fairness Act while speaking on Capitol Hill, Williams said the disparity came as no surprise to her.
“It simply reinforced my life-learned belief that equality is not an inalienable right and that women would always be working just as hard for less money while shouldering more responsibility at home,” she said. “I’ve been accredited by my industry at the highest levels and that still didn’t translate to equal and fair compensation.”
Wahlberg received more than 1,000 times as much money as Williams did because reshoots were not in his contract, an individual with knowledge of the deal told TheWrap at the time. Wahlberg’s agent, Ari Emanuel of WME, negotiated the new deal.
On Tuesday, Williams joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the Democratic Women’s Caucus to celebrate Equal Pay Day. She said that eventually the glaring disparity was widely condemned, thanks in part to fellow actress Jessica Chastain, who made note of it on Twitter.
“Jessica’s audience was much wider than mine and she wasn’t afraid to pick up a megaphone and be heard. And heard she was; there was an uproar and a public shaming within my industry that resulted in a $2 million donation to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund,” Williams said.
Wahlberg donated the money he received for the reshoots in Williams’ name to #TimesUp, the legal defense fund founded in response to the #MeToo movement.
Williams added she has noticed a change in the industry since.
“Rather than being grasped too tightly and hugged for too long as a morning greeting, my hand was shaken and I was looked squarely in the eye and I was welcomed to my Monday morning,” she said. “I realized this is what it actually feels like to be on the inside, to be one of the boys. In this space, respect and safety are out in the open. They are not just found in the shadows and the corners.”
“On the job I just completed two weeks ago, let me tell you something: I was paid equally with my male co-star,” she added.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 2, 2019
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 yrs. She deserves more than 1% of her male costar' s salary. https://t.co/HIniew6lf7
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) January 10, 2018