It seems that even a queen has to fight for equal pay.
Producers of the Netflix series “The Crown” admitted during an INTV conference panel that the show’s lead, Claire Foy, was paid less than Matt Smith, the actor playing her on-screen husband. Foy received an estimated $40,000 per episode for her award-winning portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, while Smith’s salary for playing Prince Philip is unreported.
Producers attributed the pay disparity to Smith’s name recognition after he rose to stardom as the title character on the British television series “Doctor Who.”
The show will not let it happen again, said Suzanne Mackie, creative director of the show’s production company, Left Bank.
“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” Mackie said, according to Variety.
But that doesn’t help Foy, who won’t be returning to the show because it jumps forward in time in seasons three and four. “Broadchurch” alum Olivia Coleman will play the queen, and Smith’s replacement has yet to be named.
The 33-year-old Foy won a Golden Globe last year for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth and even earned the appreciation of the queen herself. Smith received no awards for his role on the show.
Netflix’s report comes amid a growing movement for gender equity in salaries and opportunities in Hollywood. Several prominent actresses, including Reese Witherspoon and Amber Tamblyn, have worked as advocates and organizers for the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund to help women across industries fight for equality in the workplace.