Stars ‘shocked’ at gender pay disparity in Hollywood

LOS ANGELES — Stars are sharing their shock at reports of a significant pay disparity between Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams for reshoots on the Ridley Scott film “All the Money in the World.”

Two reports say Wahlberg was paid far more than Williams for the reshoots in which Kevin Spacey was replaced by Christopher Plummer after accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Spacey. USA Today reported this week that Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million for the 10 days of reshoots, while Williams got less than $1,000 for the same work.

Representatives for Wahlberg and Williams did not respond to requests for comment Friday. Imperative Entertainment, which produced the film, declined to comment.

But actor Liam Neeson said it’s a healthy and necessary discussion to have, because “the disparity, sometimes, is (expletive) disgraceful.”

“We as men have got to be part of it,” he told The Associated Press earlier this week. “We started it, so we have to be part of the solution.”

He said he wouldn’t take a pay cut to make things equal, “but there has to be parity. There just has to be.”

Actress Diane Kruger said she was surprised by the size of the wage gap between Wahlberg and Williams, but that she also isn’t paid the same as the men she works with.

“I have never been paid the same as my male co-star, ever,” Kruger said. “But often it’s not them. It’s the studios or whoever makes the deal, and it’s terrible because it makes you feel undervalued or easily exchangeable. And it’s just not OK, in any field, not just as an actor…

“I think we need to be more conscious when we make deals, to be strong and stay united… where we have a coherent plan of us women, what we need to do to make this happen.”

Veteran actress Rita Moreno also said she was shocked by the news, but she doesn’t blame Wahlberg.

“That’s his business. That’s what actors do — they get paid very handsomely, especially if they’re big stars,” she said. “She’s a big star too though. I don’t get that.”

Guillermo del Toro, who shouted about women’s equality as credits rolled on the Critics’ Choice Awards Thursday night, said he makes sure actresses on his productions are treated fairly.

“I think it’s incredibly important, because the work and the profession are exactly the same,” he said, adding that Hollywood used to recognize that. “If you go back to the golden era of Hollywood, this is not something that was happening then. You had great actresses — Joan Crawford, Bette Davis — that were fuel for the movies, that were engines for the movies, and were treated and paid and considered in the same realm. Whenever it changed, it should change back.”

“The Handmaid’s Tale” actor Joseph Fiennes said women should take action if things don’t change.

“I’m reminded of Iceland, 1979, when all the women went on strike,” he said. “They went on strike; they gave the babies to the men; they disappeared. The country fell down and now it’s the only country in Europe that has practically parity of pay and has since had two female leaders. So, you have to go on strike. You can’t give up, and you get results that way.”

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