Hollywood Wage Gap


Female actors in Hollywood have seen a lot of ups and downs this last year. This time, the upset is over a very apparent wage gap between two successful actors in a critically acclaimed movie. There was a large discrepancy between payments for two lead characters for the scheduled shooting and subsequent reshoots for Ridley Scott’s film “All the Money in the World.”

Mark Wahlberg reportedly made $5 million for his work in the movie, which is eight times as much as his co-star Michelle Williams, who was only paid $625,000. These numbers reveal a massive pay gap, but this wasn’t what caused the public outcry.

The problem comes from the gap between what Williams and Wahlberg earned during reshoots that were caused from Scott’s decision to cut actor Kevin Spacey earlier in 2017. Williams had earned around $1,000 dollars in reshoots, which is miniscule compared to Wahlberg’s $1.5 million.

There aren’t many modern-day examples of female actors making 1,500 times less than their male counterparts. Both have the same of amount screen time and did the same level of work as each other, but the gap is still there. Wahlberg has donated the $1.5 million he earned to the “Time’s Up” Legal Defense Fund in Williams’ name as an act of solidarity with the women who often suffer from pay gap issues.

There are many layers to examine about why and how this could happen when both actors were signed through the same agency. One argument for the gap is that there was no way to know that Williams’ work would be so outstanding (she is up for many awards for her performance in this role). However, such thinking seems difficult to process. In recent years, Williams has won more awards than Wahlberg, who won his last last award in 2014 for “Lone Survivor.”

On Jan. 10, SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) launched an investigation into the issue. The results are still unknown, but the disparity in payment is being taken very seriously by all parties involved.