Michelle Williams was ‘paralysed' by Mark Wahlberg pay row
Michelle Williams has said she felt “paralysed” after discovering All The Money In The World co-star Mark Wahlberg had earned vastly more than her to re-shoot portions of the film.
Director Ridley Scott axed Kevin Spacey from the movie in late 2017 following allegations of sexual assault, replacing him with Christopher Plummer.
It meant both Williams, 38, and Wahlberg, 47, had to re-film certain scenes.
It later emerged Wahlberg had been paid 1.5 million dollars (£1.1 million) for the work while Williams made just 1,000 dollars (£728).
Speaking at the Capitol Hill building in Washington DC on Tuesday during a hearing about closing the gender pay gap in the US, Williams said she was “paralysed in feelings of futility” after learning of the pay disparity.
She said: “In late 2017, the news broke that I’d been paid less than 1,000 dollars compared to the 1.5 million dollars that my male counterpart had received for the exact same amount of work.
“And guess what, no-one cared. This came as no surprise to me, 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.”
Williams, known for starring in Dawson’s Creek, My Week With Marilyn and The Greatest Showman, added: “I’ve been a working actress since the age of 12. I’ve been accredited by my industry at the highest levels and that still didn’t translate to equal compensation.”
Williams said there was only an outcry against the difference in pay after her fellow actress Jessica Chastain tweeted about it.
She said: “Jessica’s audience was much wider than mine and she wasn’t afraid to pick up a megaphone and be heard. Heard she was, there was an uproar and a public shaming within my industry that resulted in a two-million-dollar donation to the Time’s Up Defence Fund.”
Wahlberg donated his cheque for the re-shoots to the Time’s Up Defence Fund while the talent agency William Morris Endeavours (WME) donated a further 500,000 dollars (£364,000) to the initiative set up to help fund accusers of sexual harassment and abuse.
Williams said the controversy had improved her experiences on film sets.
She said: “I could tell my workplace was shifting. Rather than being grasped too tightly or 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.”
Williams added: “On the job I just completed two weeks ago, I have to tell you, I was paid equally with my male co-star.”