There was an uproar from angry fans of The Crown when it was revealed back in March that Claire Foy, who played the younger Queen Elizabeth II on the first two seasons of the Royal drama, was being paid less than her on-screen husband Matt Smith, who played Prince Phillip.
Foy banked $40,000 an episode and while Smith’s salary was not revealed, it was believed to be “significantly” higher. Netflix’s defense was that Smith was the bigger star when the series began due to his Doctor Who fame. And while that may have been true to start with, many felt this pay gap should’ve been equalized by the second season.
The controversy abated somewhat when it was rumored that Netflix had made it up to Foy by paying her a hefty sum of $275,000, which put her on a level playing field with Smith. It now turns out, however, that this never happened. Foy spoke to Dubai-based news channel Al Arabiya and explained that this was just an internet myth. The actress says she’s never even discussed the issue with The Crown‘s producers.
“That was what was reported, that I was back-paid. I’ve never mentioned anything about it and neither have the producers. The fact that that is ‘fact’ is not quite correct.”
Echoing previous statements, Foy went on to touch on how the furore around her wages was part of a much bigger discussion about the gender pay divide across the board, and how being caught in the center of that debate’s a little strange.
“It happened at the same time as it was coming out with a lot of other people that there was a lot of pay inequality across the board – in the music industry, in journalism, in every industry. It’s across the board that it became part of a bigger conversation, which is an odd place to find yourself in.”
While it’s shocking that Foy never received her due, at least the actress herself seems to be satisfied with the situation. After all, The Crown did its job of launching her into the big leagues and has led to her landing lucrative new roles such as the lead in The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
What’s more, Netflix has promised that Olivia Colman – Fox’s successor as the Queen – will not be a victim of the same inequality. Speaking of Colman, she’s currently busy filming the upcoming third season of The Crown, alongside the revamped cast that also boasts Helena Bonham-Carter, Tobias Menzies and Ben Daniels. An exact premiere date has yet to be revealed, but expect it to arrive in early 2019.
Source: Al Arabiya