American actor Mark Wahlberg announced Saturday he would donate $1.5 million (1.2 million euros) to a legal fund for victims of sexual harassment following a controversy over the massive pay gap between him and a female co-star.
Ridley Scott partially re-shot his latest movie, All the Money in the World, after Kevin Spacey was fired due to sexual misconduct allegations, with both Wahlberg and Michelle Williams called back to act opposite Spacey's replacement, Christopher Plummer.
Williams was reportedly paid less than $1,000 while Wahlberg made $1.5 million for reshoots on the film.
"Over the last few days my reshoot fee for All the Money in the World has become an important topic of conversation," Wahlberg said in a statement.
"I 100% support the fight for fair pay and I'm donating the $1.5 million to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund in Michelle Williams' name," he said.
The Time's Up initiative was unveiled by more than 300 major actresses and female writers, directors, agents and other entertainment executives earlier this month.
It aims to tackle pervasive sexual harassment in workplaces, calling special attention to abuse in less-than-glamorous blue-collar jobs.
"We fervently urge the media covering the disclosures by people in Hollywood to spend equal time on the myriad experiences of individuals working in less glamorized and valorized trades," the group said in a full-page ad in The New York Times.
The initiative caps a year in which the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal touched off a deluge of allegations that brought down powerful men in entertainment, politics and the media, prompting companies, government agencies and even the US federal court system to re-examine harassment policies.
Michelle has celebrated Wahlberg's decision to donate his pay cheque for reshoots of All The Money In The World to Time's Up in the face of criticism.
Today isn’t about me,” she said in a statement. “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.”
She continued: “If we truly envision an equal world, it takes equal effort and sacrifice. Today is one of the most indelible days of my life because of Mark Wahlberg, WME and a community of women and men who share in this accomplishment. Anthony Rapp, for all the shoulders you stood on, now we stand on yours."
Actresses Jessica Chastain and Judd Apatow were among those to express outrage over the pay disparity between Wahlberg and Williams.
Other actors expressed their support for Wahlberg’s decision. Mark Ruffalo tweeted that the donation was “classy.”
Octavia Spencer also praised Wahlberg, calling the donation a “good thing to do.”
Melissa Silverstein, the founder of Women and Hollywood, a group that fights for pay equity in Hollywood, tweeted: “The lesson here is that pressure for equal pay works.”
The 10 days of reshoots were necessary after Kevin Spacey was replaced by Christopher Plummer when accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Spacey. Both Williams and Plummer were nominated for Golden Globes for their performances.
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