‘The Crown’ Producers Apologised About Gender Pay Gap But Haven’t Fixed It

After copping backlash over last week’s revelation that The Crown actor Claire Foy is paid less than co-star Matt Smith, the production team behind the Netflix hit-show have apologised, though it seems that Foy’s pay will not be rectified.

Last week, a  show producer revealed the logic behind the disparity was that Smith, fresh off several seasons of Doctor Who, was a bigger name than Foy. In their official apology, The Crown’s production company Left Bank have centred the two actors, but do not address calls to retroactively fill in the pay-gap between Foy & 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. 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.

The apology appears to indirectly address a online petition urging Smith to donate his salary to Time’s Up, as Mark Whalberg did earlier this year in wake of similar revelations regarding re-shoots for All The Money In The World As of writing, it has 27,000 signatures, though many took issue with its target. As the apology notes, Smith would have been unaware of the disparity – essentially, it’s not his mess to fix.

Last week, executive producer Suzanne Mackie assuring Variety that “going forward, no one gets paid more than The Queen”. Foy, however, will not reap the benefits: in the show’s third season, new actors will be cast as the show jumps forward to the 1970s.

This is why many aren’t accepting the apology, feeling it doesn’t touch upon calls for Foy to be retroactively paid the same amount as Smith.

Since salaries are negotiated separately, the issue could potentially be resolved by the introduction ‘inclusion riders’ or equal-pay clauses in contracts, as Frances McDormant suggested in her Best Actress acceptance speech at The Oscars.

This is the only acceptable time to write this sentence: just pay The Queen more money.

Source: The ABC

Image credit: Netflix/The Crown