Producers of Netflix series The Crown admitted Tuesday that Claire Foy, who stars in the show as Queen Elizabeth II, was paid less than her TV husband Matt Smith (Prince Philip), a supporting actor. It’s an ironic development considering much of the series is spent exploring how difficult it was for the female monarch to be taken seriously.
According to NPR, executives from the production company Left Bank Pictures (which makes The Crown for Netflix) admitted Smith was “paid more in the show’s first two seasons because he had spent three years as star of the popular science fiction TV series Doctor Who.” During the INTV conference in Jerusalem Tuesday, executives from the production company explained they have since rectified the pay situation for future seasons.
“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” said Creative Director Suzanne Mackie.
— Erik Anderson (@awards_watch) March 13, 2018
Unfortunately for Foy, who starred in The Crown‘s first two seasons, Olivia Colman (The Office, Broadchurch) will be stepping in to play the more grown-up Elizabeth. So the adjusted pay rates won’t retroactively apply, even though she was nominated for an Emmy and won awards from the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes for her work on the show.
This isn’t the first time the streaming giant has been called out for perpetuating the gender wage gap. Back in August, Amy Schumer revealed she’d renegotiated the salary for her one-hour special after realizing how much more Netflix was paying Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock for theirs. In January, Mo’nique and Wanda Sykes spoke out about their own struggles to receive fair payment from the streaming service.
Season 3 of The Crown is still in early production stages, and no release date has been announced yet.