‘The Crown’ producers apologize to Claire Foy, Matt Smith for pay disparity reveal

The production company behind “The Crown” has apologized to Claire Foy and Matt Smith, who “found themselves at the center of a media storm this week through no fault of their own,” after producers revealed that Smith was paid more than lead Foy for their two seasons on the Netflix drama.

“We want to apologize to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the center of a media storm this week through no fault of their own. Claire and Matt are incredibly gifted actors who, along with the wider cast on ‘The Crown’ have worked tirelessly to bring our characters to life with compassion and integrity,” Left Bank Pictures said in a statement Tuesday, according to Deadline. “As the producers of ‘The Crown,’ 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.”

SEE ‘The Crown’: Should Matt Smith donate his bigger salary to charity? [POLL]

Last week, executive producer Suzanne Mackie shared at the INTV conference in Jerusalem that Foy, despite playing Queen Elizabeth, was paid less than Prince Philip portrayer Smith, who commanded a bigger paycheck due to his higher profile as a former Doctor Who. Foy won a Golden Globe and SAG Award, and received an Emmy nomination for the first season. She won her second straight SAG Award in January.

Mackie promised pay equity going forward, but Season 3 will feature Olivia Colman, not Foy, as Queen Elizabeth as the series jumps forward in time. The fallout from the revelation has spawned a petition calling for Smith to donate his extra salary to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund.

Left Bank added that it’s “absolutely united with the fight for fair pay” and is working with ERA 50:50 and Time’s UP UK to “ensure all women have a voice.”

Read the full statement below.

“We want to apologize to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the center of a media storm this week through no fault of their own. Claire and Matt are incredibly gifted actors who, along with the wider cast on The Crown have worked tirelessly to bring our characters to life with compassion and integrity.

As the producers of ‘The Crown,’ 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.

We understand and appreciate the conversation which is rightly being played out across society and we are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a re-balancing of the industry’s treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes.

We all have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure that these issues are tackled, and as a leading production company we want to make our contribution to the debate. As company policy we are engaged in conversations with ERA 50:50 and going forward are keen to talk to Time’s Up UK; organisations which are working to ensure all women have a voice.”

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