Mark Wahlberg donates US$1.5 million reshoot fee following outrage

All the Money in the World star Mark Wahlberg and the agency which represents him have bowed to growing outrage over his US$1.5 million fee for filming reshoots on the movie and will donate the fee, and another US$500,000 to the Time’s Up fund.

The astonishing pay cheque was revealed after an investigation by the newspaper USA Today and sat in stark contrast to Wahlberg’s co-star Michelle Williams, who was paid only a per diem to cover expenses – totalling around US$1000 – for the reshoots.

The scandal was compounded by timing; USA Today published the explosive revelation the day after the highly politicised Golden Globe awards, where actresses almost uniformly wore black to shift focus to the Time’s Up movement, to combat sexual harassment and inequality in the workplace.

“Over the last few days my reshoot fee for All the Money in the World has become an important topic of conversation,” Wahlberg, who earned $US68 million last year, said in a statement issued to media.

Wahlberg said he “100 percent support[ed] the fight for fair pay” and that he would donate his US$1.5 millon fee to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in the name of his co-star, Williams.

Wahlberg’s agency, William Morris Endeavor, which represents both Walhberg and Williams, said it would make an additional donation of US$500,000.

“The current conversation is a reminder that those of us in a position of influence have a responsibility to challenge inequities, including the gender wage gap,” the agency said.

“It is crucial that this conversation continues within our community and we are committed to being part of the solution,” the statement said.

Mark Wahlberg topped Forbes’ list for being the highest paid actor in 2017. He took home a total of $US68 million, more than 2.5 times the $US26 million Emma Stone made, Forbes reported.

William Morris Endeavor has already donated US$1 million to the fund; inclusive of the new donations, a total of US$3 million has been poured into the fund, which plans to provide legal support to people in all workplaces fighting sexual harrassment and inequality cases.

While the individual actor’s fees were negotiated separately, outrage over the discrepancy has grown for the past week.

Commenting on social media, the producer/director Judd Apatow described it as “so messed up that it is almost hard to believe.”

“Almost,” Apatow added. “This is how this business works.”

The reshoots on All the Money in the World were required when director Ridley Scott decided to cut actor Kevin Spacey from the film, in the wake of allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviour, and recast his role with actor Christopher Plummer.

The decision came less than a month before the planned release of the film, so the reshoots were organised hastily and depended on the cast effectively dropping whatever they were doing and agreeing to participate.

In line with her co-stars – at least, it appears, as far as she was aware – Williams agreed to return at no additional cost.

In a break with that position, which director Ridley Scott praised in interviews, it is understood Wahlberg demanded an additional payment.

Some media reports suggested that Wahlberg’s contract allowed him to approve casting and that the fee was required to obtain his consent to Plummer replacing Spacey.

It is still unclear which actors in the cast had reshoots included in their original contracts – a standard inclusion for most major projects in Hollywood – and whether some did not.

Williams later issued a statement praising Wahlberg and William Morris Endeavor for their actions, and also singled out actor Anthony Rapp for praise.

Rapp, who stars in Star Trek: Discovery, was the target of actor Kevin Spacey’s inappropriate behaviour; it was Rapp’s statement about Spacey’s actions which set in motion the course of events which led to Spacey’s removal from the film and the subsequent reshoots.

“Today isn’t about me,” Williams said. “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,” she said.

Williams described it as “one of the most indelible days of my life because of Mark Wahlberg, [William Morris Endeavor] and a community of women and men.”

Williams added: “Anthony Rapp, for all the shoulders you stood on, now we stand on yours.”

The film, based on John Pearson’s 1995 book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty, is the story of J. Paul Getty’s refusal to cooperate with his grandson’s kidnappers in 1973.

Plummer replaced Spacey in the role of J. Paul Getty.

The film was released on December 25 and has grossed almost US$30 million worldwide since opening, off a budget of around US$50 million.

Scott, Williams and Plummer were all nominated for Golden Globe awards; Plummer is nominated for a British Film Academy award for his work on the film.