After outcry, Mark Wahlberg donates $1.5 million film fee

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Michelle Williams, left, and Mark Wahlberg in TriStar Pictures’ “All The Money in the World.” (AP)
Updated 14 January 2018
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After outcry, Mark Wahlberg donates $1.5 million film fee

NEW YORK: Following an outcry over a significant disparity in pay between co-stars, Mark Wahlberg agreed Saturday to donate the $1.5 million he earned for reshoots for “All the Money in the World” to the sexual misconduct defense initiative Time’s Up.
Wahlberg said he’ll donate the money in the name of his co-star, Michelle Williams, who reportedly made less than $1,000 on the reshoots.
“I 100% support the fight for fair pay,” Wahlberg said in a statement.
Williams issued a statement Saturday, saying: “Today isn’t about me. 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 noted that “it takes equal effort and sacrifice” to make a film.
“Today is one of the most indelible days of my life because of Mark Wahlberg, WME (William Morris Endeavor) and a community of women and men who share in this accomplishment.”
Wahlberg and his agency, William Morris Endeavor, donated $2 million to #Time’sUp, the legal defense fund founded in response to the #MeToo movement.
The announcement Saturday came after directors and stars, including Jessica Chastain and Judd Apatow, shared their shock at reports of the huge pay disparity for the Ridley Scott film. The 10 days of reshoots were necessary after Kevin Spacey was replaced by Christopher Plummer when accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Spacey. USA Today reported Williams was paid less than $1,000 for the 10 days.
Both Williams and Plummer were nominated for Golden Globes for their performances.
William Morris Endeavor said in a statement that wage disparity conversations should continue and “we are committed to being part of the solution.”


West End theater turns migrant camp to get London audience talking

Updated 35 min 25 sec ago
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West End theater turns migrant camp to get London audience talking

  • The Playhouse Theatre in London’s West End aims to immerse the audience in the squalid camp in the northern French port city of Calais that inspired “The Jungle.”
  • The immersive play offers a glimpse into life in the camp, telling the story of asylum-seekers, people smugglers and charity workers who used to populate it.

LONDON: London theatergoers used to spectating in comfort are in for a rude awakening after the authors of a play swapped the traditional plush velvet seating for wooden benches and covered the floor with soil to simulate the feel of a migrant camp.
The Playhouse Theatre in London’s West End aims to immerse the audience in the squalid camp in the northern French port city of Calais that inspired “The Jungle,” whose authors hope their play will stoke debate about migration.
“People often hold strong opinions about this subject because it doesn’t seem to have any immediate answer,” said Joe Murphy, 27, who co-wrote the play.
“Discussion is the only think that is going to get us forward ... and hopefully this play can provide some of that space for debate,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview.
Co-author Joe Robertson said the pair had “tried to depict both the terrible conditions that existed in the Jungle camp, but also the hope that existed in that place.”
Up to 10,000 people seeking ways to reach Britain used to live in the giant slum before it was cleared by authorities in late 2016.
Immigration remains a major political issue across Europe, as well as in the United States, where the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the Mexican border has caused an international outcry.
Several European leaders including those of France, Germany, Italy and Austria are to hold talks on Sunday to explore how to stop people from moving around the European Union after claiming asylum in one of the Mediterranean states of arrival.
Murphy and Robertson, 28, based the script on their experience as volunteers in Calais, where they ran a temporary theater within the camp.
The immersive play offers a glimpse into life in the camp, telling the story of asylum-seekers, people smugglers and charity workers who used to populate it.
“There were 25 different nationalities of people all forced to live side by side often on top of each other and the phenomenal story about that place was people did make an effort to come together,” said Robertson.
Theatre-goers are invited to seat at the tables of the camp’s makeshift Afghan café, where the action unfolds.
“The closer you are to the audience the better the message is delivered,” said actor Ammar Hajj Ahmad, who plays one of the leading characters.
Ahmad, from Syria, is one of many actors from a refugee background featured in the play. Several asylum-seekers the authors met in Calais are also part of the cast.
“I am proud of this, I love telling stories ... about the many people who lived in Calais,” said cast-member Mohamed Sarrar, a musician from Sudan who arrived in Britain two years ago.
The play, which premiered at another London theater The Young Vic, last year, runs from July 5 to November.