It appears that Claire Foy is going to be properly paid for her role as Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown, after all.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Foy, despite being the show’s lead, was paid significantly less money than her male costar, Matt Smith, who plays the queen’s husband, Prince Philip. At the time the actress told Entertainment Weekly, “I’m surprised because I’m at the center of it, and anything that I’m at the center of like that is very, very odd, and feels very, very out of ordinary. But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama. I’m not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, ‘Oh, that’s a bit odd.’ But I know that Matt feels the same that I do, that it’s odd to find yourself at the center [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for.”
Just last week Smith finally addressed the controversy. “I believe that we all should be paid equally and fairly,” he said. “Claire is one of my best friends. I support her completely.” (Producers said Smith was initially paid more because he was more well-known when the show began filming.)
Producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries had pledged that going forward the gender pay discrepancy would be fixed. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen,” Mackie said. But since Foy will no longer be playing the part going forward, it didn’t really help her much. Until today, that is. Foy is now set to reportedly receive around $275,000 in back pay to close the wage gap.
In a statement to the Daily Mail, Left Bank Productions (the company behind The Crown) said: “As the producers of The Crown, we 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. 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 in front of the camera and behind the scenes.”
Long may she reign—and be paid fairly.