The gender pay gap in the entertainment industry has once again been exposed, this time with the revelation that the award-winning title character on Netflix’s “The Crown” has been earning less than her co-star.
Executive producers admitted yesterday that Claire Foy, who played the young Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix original series, was paid less than Matt Smith, who played her husband, Prince Philip.
The pay inequity was exposed by an audience question during a panel event at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem. In response, the show’s producers, Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries, promised to rectify the situation in the upcoming third season.
“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” said Mackie.
But that won’t help address the injustice done to Foy. The upcoming season will jump forward a few decades and producers have recast the entire ensemble, including Foy’s Queen Elizabeth role, which is going to Olivia Coleman.
Foy made around $40,000 per episode during her two seasons starring on the show, according to Variety. It’s unclear how much Smith was paid.
Producers said that Smith’s fame from his previous role as the Doctor in the long-running BBC series “Doctor Who” was a main factor in deciding how much he should be paid, whereas Foy was comparatively unknown when she began her work on “The Crown.”
However, in her two seasons on the show, she was awarded a Golden Globe for best actress and nominated for an Emmy for outstanding lead actress. Smith was nominated for neither a Golden Globe nor an Emmy for his role on the show.
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