‘The Crown’ producers apologize for pay gap between male and female leads
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(LONDON) — News broke last week that Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth in Netflix’s “The Crown,” was making a less-than-queenly salary when compared to her co-star Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip.
The outrage led to a petition for Smith and the streaming giant to pony up the difference. Now, the disparity has also led to an apology from producers of the series, Left Bank Pictures.
The actors “have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own,” the lengthy mea culpa sent to ABC News reads in part, adding, “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 producers’ statement also said they “understand and appreciate the conversation” about wage parity and 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.”
The statement concludes: “As company policy, we are engaged in conversations with [equality groups] ERA 50:50 and going forward are keen to talk to Time’s Up U.K.; organizations which are working to ensure all women have a voice.”
“The Crown” executive producer Suzanne Mackie had suggested last week that Smith was paid more because the former “Doctor Who” star had more acting experience, but then said that no longer will apply, adding, “It’s really important for the queen to be paid more.”
Foy was nominated for an Emmy last year for her work on the show.
Tuesday’s statement still does not directly say that the Foy-Smith wage disparity has been addressed.
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