What the hell is wrong with Michelle Williams’s agent?

The big news on the Hollywood vs. women scene is that Williams did her reshoots for “All the Money in the World” for almost free while her male costar, Mark Wahlberg, got $1.5 million.

The common “wisdom” is that Williams was stupid and weak for not demanding more. If she doesn’t have the self-esteem and the balls to demand more money, she didn’t get what she doesn’t deserve.

Actually, this isn’t a clear-cut case here. Some sources say that she couldn’t get more because her contract was different from Wahlberg’s. Plus she was in fewer scenes that needed reshooting after Kevin Spacey was replaced by Christopher Plummer.

Plus she isn’t as big a star as Wahlberg and there are far fewer lead roles for women than for men. So she had to play nice.

Plus she was lied to. She was told no one in the original movie was getting the big bucks.

We are overlooking the key element here.

Williams has an agent—William Morris Endeavor (WME), one of the biggest—and they apparently didn’t fight for her. And better (?) than that, Williams has the same agency as Wahlberg. So the agency apparently lied to their own client.

She actually pays big bucks for this crappy representation.

Williams is made to look like a stereotypical woman—dumb, wishy washy, eager to please—when the problem is the agency.

Why does Williams have to be a strong stick-it-to-the-man (literally, the man) negotiator? More than likely, she became an actress because she is in touch with her emotions, not because she chose to be the toughest one in the room.

The Hollywood model of having agents, managers, attorneys, accountants, and security personnel to protect you makes perfect sense. Now we’re starting to see accusations against male actors, directors and producers, but nothing on agents.

Accusations came out against Meryl Streep, who declares herself unknowing, while we don’t hear about the agents, who know damn well who has been doing what to whom for years and continue to send actresses solo to meetings and auditions with men they know to be rapists.

In other words, they’re pimps.

Good luck getting aggressive representation from pimps.

Let’s look at the industry response

Take the black dresses at the Golden Globes.

Utterly ridiculous. Black is for mourning the Grim Reaper. Death comes to us all and black clothing (typically without boa feathers, sequins, cleavage, and skirt slits up to the hoohah) honors its most recent victim. Rape is rape; wearing black is irrelevant.

Equally outrageous is the new Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equity in the Workplace. It includes directors, producers, agents and whoever else the Academy wishes to whitewash. First on the list of those forming the commission is co-chair Avi Emanuel, Co-CEO, William Morris Endeavor.

Talk about putting the wolves in charge of the hen house.

Seems like commissions paid to the agent is the price of an actress’s access to roles rather than the agent’s participation in income they have honorably secured.

Sorry, the problem isn’t weak women, it’s predatory men with power

And it appears that the film industry is all about putting on a good show while covering up for the perpetrators.

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Filed under: feminism

Tags: Michelle Williams

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