As we discussed last week, the producers of The Crown admitted that Matt Smith was paid more than Claire Foy for the first two seasons. Claire played Queen Elizabeth II, Matt played Prince Philip. Their time as Liz and Phil is over – that’s the conceit of The Crown, that they get new actors to play these “roles” every two seasons. There was a lot of justifiable outrage over the fact that “the Queen” wasn’t paid the same as “the Queen’s husband” and producers promised that it would never happen like that again, that in future season, the Queen would be paid the same or more than her costar. Now the producers are formally apologizing for the pay drama, and some believe that Matt Smith should give up part of his paycheck.
Left Bank Pictures, the production company behind The Crown, apologized Tuesday for the controversy around the gender pay gap between stars Claire Foy and Matt Smith.
“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,” Left Bank said in a statement. “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.”
The company added: “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 rebalancing 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, organizations which are working to ensure all women have a voice.”
A petition is calling on Smith to donate the extra salary he received for the Netflix drama to Time’s Up. The Care2 petition urges Smith and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to “show that they stand with women and do the right thing” while asking the actor and streaming giant to donate the difference in Smith’s pay to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund.
I mean… they should have just paid Foy and Smith the same from the start. That was what I argued and I still can’t believe they were boneheaded enough to think that “we should totally pay Prince Philip more!” It’s asinine, and yet another asinine look at the thought process of the men in charge across the board. That being said, it’s Netflix’s fault and the producers’ fault. Matt Smith shouldn’t be publicly shamed into donating to Time’s Up. If he wants to donate, then fine and more power to him. But Matt Smith is not Mark F–king Wahlberg looking for a multi-million payday on the back of a sexual-predator scandal. Matt Smith was just doing his job.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Netflix.