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Hollywood uproad over Mark Wahlberg-Michelle Williams pay gap

Hollywood uproad over Mark Wahlberg-Michelle Williams pay gap

On Tuesday, USA Today reported that Williams earned less than 1% of Wahlberg's paycheck for the reshoots: Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million; Williams was paid just under $1,000.

It's true that Mark Wahlberg has commercially proven global appeal.

Both performers are with William Morris Endeavor - although each is repped by separate agents there - which has only fueled the perception of injustice. Williams can, and has, unequivocally outacted Wahlberg in the majority of her roles versus his, if not in all of them. But there's a difference between a proportionate fee based on a star's box-office worth - and no fee at all.

The founder of Women and Hollywood Melissa Siverstein tweeted; "On the day after display of female power at the #goldenglobes, I learned that there was an egregious pay gap between Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg for the All The Money In The World reshoot". USA TODAY also reached out to reps for Plummer and co-star Michelle Williams. The New York Times reports Williams quickly agreed to re-shoot the scenes, but Wahlberg was the hold out and due to a time deadline his agent negotiated the additional pay.

Wahlberg had co-star approval in his contract, two people familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly about it tell USA TODAY. The problem is that she, her representatives and the producers of "All The Money In The World" all accepted that pulling off that ambitious goal required her to forfeit a salary.

The report about the glaring pay disparity has gone viral on social media and invited criticism by many celebrities, such as Jessica Chastain, Mia Farrow and Judd Apatow.

What's alarming and preposterous about this revelation is that Williams is a markedly more gifted and critically recognized film presence than Wahlberg, who hasn't even given a noteworthy acting performance in his career.

A star's worth is measured in various ways.

Meanwhile, Wahlberg did what certain ambitious men tend to do: Look out for their own interests and first make sure they are well compensated. Williams, a multiple Oscar nominee, told the publication that she did indeed agree to that. Williams, who has been heralded as a blinding talent for her portrayals in films such as Blue Valentine, My Week With Marilyn and Manchester By The Sea. Wahlberg is known to be bullish on his worth, in this case pushing Imperative Entertainment to pay him more for more work.

Those who study the intersection between gender politics and pop culture called it a humiliation for the production company and a black eye for Hollywood. Sony wasn't involved in the contractual negotiations. But one fact remains: Williams made her decision to perform gratis in the dark.

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