Fans of The Crown were disappointed to learn last week that Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth, was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith, who portrays the more secondary part of Prince Philip. While neither actor has commented on the controversy, the producers of the Netflix series are now speaking out and taking responsibility.
“We want to apologise to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own. Claire and Matt are incredibly gifted actors who, along with the wider cast on The Crown, have worked tirelessly to bring our characters to life with compassion and integrity,” Left Bank pictures said in a statement, according to .
“As the producers of The Crown, we at Left Bank Pictures are responsible for budgets and salaries; the actors are not aware of who gets what, and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues.” Their statement seems to affirm that neither Foy nor Smith were aware of the pay gap between them, and could have heard about it for the first time in the media last week. Thus, Foy should not be held responsible for not asking for more money, and Smith should not be shamed for accepting a higher salary than his co-star.
Left Bank said it stands behind gender pay equality, and added that it was interested in speaking with the British Time’s Up campaign. “We understand and appreciate the conversation which is rightly being played out across society and we are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a rebalancing of the industry’s treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes,” it said.