Michelle Williams felt ‘paralysed’ over gender pay gap row

Actress Michelle Williams has said she felt “paralysed” when she discovered that Mark Wahlberg was paid more than her to re-shoot part of the movie All The Money In The World.

New scenes needed to be filmed after Kevin Spacey was axed from the project amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Williams co-star Wahlberg was paid $1.5m (£1.1m), while Williams said she made just £1,000 (£728).

On Tuesday, speaking in Washington during a Capitol hearing on gender pay gap, she said she had felt “paralysed in feelings of futility” after learning of the disparity.

She said: “In late 2017, the news broke that I’d been paid less than $1,000 compared to the $1.5m that my male counterpart had received for the exact same amount of work.”

“And guess what, no-one cared.

“This came as no surprise to me, it simply reinforced my life-learned belief that equality is not an inalienable right and that women would always be working just as hard for less money while shouldering more responsibility at home.”

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Michelle Williams speaks at an event to celebrate the Paycheck Fairness Act on Equal Pay Day at the US Capitol in Washington, DC
Image: Michelle Williams at the hearing in Washington

Williams added: “I’ve been a working actress since the age of 12. I’ve been accredited by my industry at the highest levels and that still didn’t translate to equal compensation.”

Wahlberg later donated his entire salary to the Time’s Up, a defence fund that provides support to those who have experienced workplace sexual harassment or abuse. Talent agency William Morris Endeavours donated a further $500,000 (£364,000).

Fellow actress Ashley Judd, speaking at a Bloomberg Business of Equality summit, said that, though Williams didn’t publicly react at the time, she was “shattered” at the news.

Michelle said her feelings of futility 'paralysed' her at the time
Image: Michelle Williams has worked as an actress since the age of 12

Williams said that her story only gained attention months later after fellow actress Jessica Chastain tweeted about it.

“Jessica’s audience was much wider than mine and she wasn’t afraid to pick up a megaphone and be heard,” Williams said.

“There was an uproar and a public shaming within my industry that resulted in a $2m donation into the Time’s Up Legal Defence Fund,” she said.

Williams said that now she is treated differently on film sets.

She said: “On the job I just completed two weeks ago, I have to tell you, I was paid equally with my male co-star.”

Source: SKY NEWS

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