The Crown, the Netflix original series about Queen Elizabeth II of England, first aired in late 2016. The exposing of unfair pay gaps between actors and actresses due to difference in gender is a movement that has been picking up momentum, hand in hand with the Times Up campaign.
The Crown has now become a part of the scandals, as it was recently revealed that the makers of the show that their lead female actress was being paid less than her male counterpart.
Actress Claire Foy played Queen Elizabeth II, obviously the main character of the show, and even won a Golden Globe for her performance. Yet, it was still sadly revealed that she was paid less for her role than her co-star Matt Smith, who played the Queen’s husband – Prince Phillip. According to the producers, this was because Smith was the better known actor, due to his role in Doctor Who.
Foy recently claimed that the issue has changed her approach to and view of Hollywood, opening her eyes and cautioning her to any such future situations. She told reporters from The Telegraph that:
Foy was apparently paid $40,000 per episode, but it has not been disclosed specifically how much Matt Smith was paid.
When the news broke, Matt Smith also spoke out on the problem, not disappointing in his opinion as he revealed his complete support for his colleague. He spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about it, saying:
I support her completely, and I’m pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it because that’s what needed to happen. Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind that we need to strive to make this better and a more even playing field for everyone involved – but not just in our industry, in all industries.
While the producers of the show have said the issue will be rectified, unfortunately this doesn’t come in time for Claire Foy, as her and Matt Smith were replaced after season two due to the time movement between the second and third seasons of the show. The two actors are set to be replaced by Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies.
Suzanne Mackie, one of the show’s producers, said that “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.” And we should definitely hope so.