Producers of Netflix series “The Crown” have apologized to stars Claire Foy and Matt Smith for what Left Bank Pictures called the “media storm” the duo has found themselves in the middle of over their pay discrepancy.
“We want to apologize to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the center of a media storm this week through no fault of their own,” the producers said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” the company continued.
Foy was paid less than her male co-star, Smith, even though she played the Queen of England, producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries said at the recent INTV Conference in Jerusalem.
Producers said that Smith was paid more because of his fame from “Doctor Who,” and that they won’t do the same for upcoming seasons.
“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen,” Mackie said Tuesday during the INTV Conference panel discussion, according to Variety.
Foy, however, won’t get the benefit of a pay raise. Because of the show’s structure, which follows Queen Elizabeth II’s rule from its beginning through the mid-1960s, it’s time for a new set of actors to portray the royal couple.
For Seasons 3 and 4, Olivia Colman will play Queen Elizabeth. It’s still unknown who will play the older Prince Philip, but Helena Bonham-Carter has been tapped to play Elizabeth’s younger sister Princess Margaret, who was played by Vanessa Kirby it the first two seasons.
Foy won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Emmy for her performance in Season 1, and another Golden Globe nomination for Season 2.
Left Bank concluded its Tuesday statement with the following:
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 re-balancing of the industry’s treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes.
We all have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure that these issues are tackled, and as a leading production company we want to make our contribution to the debate. So, we are now going to be in talks with the Time’sUp UK campaign and ERA 50:50; organizations which are working to ensure all women have a voice.