Can We Please Get the Mark Wahlberg Feeding Frenzy Right?

TriStar Productions/Entertainment Pictures via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Chris Barton of the LA Times reports that Mark Wahlberg and his agent will donate $2 million to Time’s Up in an effort to make amends for the huge fee Wahlberg got for reshoots of All the Money in the World:

“All the Money in the World” director Ridley Scott embarked on a whirlwind of hasty reshoots late last year when the news broke that the film’s original star, Kevin Spacey, faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct….Wahlberg, who played a former CIA agent who helped the Gettys with the case, and [Michelle] Williams, who played Gail Harris, the mother of the kidnapped boy, reconvened for multiple days of reshoots.

Williams was said to have received only a per diem that totaled about $1,000 while Wahlberg and his agent negotiated an additional fee of $1.5 million. The news of the pay discrepancy caught fire on the internet, fanned by a climate of increased awareness of sexual harassment and gender inequality in Hollywood that followed Ronan Farrow’s expose on sexual misconduct by mogul Harvey Weinstein, which ran in the New Yorker in October 2017.

I keep seeing the Wahlberg story reported this way, as if it illustrates the sexist divide in Hollywood. But that’s not how it happened. Apparently everyone involved with the reshoot volunteered to work for a nominal fee except for Wahlberg. But even if Wahlberg knew that everyone else was doing this,¹ he had no special obligation to work for less than his usual fee. At most, it might mean he’s a bit of a jerk, but it has nothing to do with sexism.

I think Wahlberg is well advised to donate his fee to Time’s Up, but the feeding frenzy over this is misplaced. Better feeding frenzies, please.

¹This is unclear. I’ve seen no reporting about whether or not Wahlberg knew he was the only one being paid a normal fee.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate