EXCLUSIVE, updated with SAG-AFTRA statement: SAG-AFTRA is looking into reports that Michelle Williams was paid peanuts compared to Mark Wahlberg to re-shoot scenes in All the Money in the World. The new footage was necessary after Christopher Plummer was brought in to the Ridley Scott-directed movie to replace Kevin Spacey, who was fired amid allegations of past sexual misconduct.
“We’re looking into it,” said a source at the actors union, who noted that the guild’s contract only covers minimums that actors can be paid. If Williams was paid at least scale for the reshoots, there’s nothing SAG-AFTRA can do about it, and anything Wahlberg may have negotiated above scale is OK with the union. The fact they’re both represented by the same talent agency — WME — could raise questions, if true, about fair and equal representation.
“We are unambiguously in favor of pay equity between men and women in this industry and support every action to move in this direction,” a SAG-AFTRA spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday. “At the same time, performers at this level negotiate their above-scale rates through their agents. As it relates to this matter, you should talk to their representatives.”
USA Today reported Tuesday that Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million to re-shoot scenes with Plummer, and that Williams was only paid her per diem – less than $1,000. If true, that could be a violation of the union’s contract if she wasn’t working on a flat-fee deal.
Scott told USA Today last month that the reshoot was made possible because nobody but Plummer and the crew got paid. Scott said he wasn’t paid for the extra work, and neither were any of the other actors. “Everyone did it for nothing,” he said, adding, “I refused to get paid.”
Then, when asked if the actors didn’t get paid either, he said: “No, they all came in free. Christopher had to get paid. But Michelle, no. Me, no.”
USA Today reported it had since learned that Wahlberg’s team had actually negotiated a deal in which he would be paid $1.5 million for his reshoot, and that Williams wasn’t told.
If Scott and Williams were working on flat deals that pay the same even if a shoot goes longer than expected, their unions – the DGA and SAG-AFTRA – probably wouldn’t be able to claim a contract violation. But the optics of paying the lead actor 1500 times more than the lead actress, if true, would be the latest example of the age-old pay gap between actors and actresses.
WME and reps for Scott, Williams and Wahlberg did not return calls for comment.