Mark Wahlberg, 2017's highest-paid actor worth $300M, uses taxpayers’ money to pay staff at his restaurant
The Coronavirus lockdown has led to a global recession cycle and even multi-millionaire celebrities have had to take a fall. ‘Transformers’ actor Mark Wahlberg recently revealed that he is using taxpayers’ cash to pay the staff in his London restaurant.
Dubbed the "highest-paid actor" in 2017, the star is worth over $300 million and according to a report by The Sun, he furloughed his staff at his restaurant Wahlburgers located in Covent Garden.
In a collaboration with his brothers, Donnie and Paul, the actor started the chain in May 2019 and even co-starred in the reality TV series named 'Wahlburgers' that aired from January 22, 2014, to July 31, 2019, to promote it.
The recent report states that he used the government’s furlough scheme to pay the wages of up to 30 workers and a source was quoted as saying, “Mark’s decision to not personally bail out his staff has raised eyebrows, especially given how much he’s worth. A lot of the staff wondered if he’d help top up their wage packets but that hasn’t happened either.”
The insider added, “Everyone is grateful they’re getting a salary as obviously this is a difficult time. But when other stars like Ed Sheeran are helping out their staff using their own wealth it looks pretty bad. There had been talk of expanding the business, with up to ten more restaurants across the rest of the UK, but that’s now all on hold.”
A Wahlburgers spokeswoman said in a statement, “The restaurant industry has been hit incredibly hard because of this pandemic. As a franchise organization, each individual Wahlburgers franchise has had to make decisions on whether to keep its doors open or close indefinitely while we all navigate these challenging times together.”
“The franchise group that owns Wahlburgers Covent Garden made the decision to use the furlough scheme for their employees in hopes that the large team and Central London site can be retained without permanent closure.”
It's quite disappointing that an actor with an enormous amount of wealth would take such an action. Recently, Victoria Beckham who is worth $444M furloughed 25 employees and was slammed for using the government scheme to pay their salaries but Sheeran was lauded for his stance that there will be no attempts to get the government to help him pay the ten staff who work at his restaurant and bar in Notting Hill, in West London. Beckham endured a lot of backlash for the move but she later backtracked. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was also forced to lay off 500 staff from his restaurant chains due to Covid-19. Many from his staff said that Ramsay has canceled their contracts and also gave no guarantee whether they would get their job back when the situation normalizes.