I mean, if the Queen can’t even get equal pay, what’s the hope for the rest of us? Yesterday, during a panel discussion about Netflix’s The Crown, it was revealed that star Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth, was paid less than her costar and on-screen husband, Matt Smith. Now, I may be overthinking it a bit, but shouldn’t the entire REASON for a show be paid at least as much as the secondary characters? And she is THE QUEEN, for crying out loud.
When she was cast as Queen Elizabeth, Claire Foy was a relative unknown in the States. Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip, was best known for his reiteration of Dr. Who on the hit series of the same name.
The Crown is one of the most expensive shows in television history, with an estimated budget of $7 million per episode. Claire is rumored to have made just $40,000 per episode for her portrayal of the Queen. I suppose the argument could be made that Smith made more because he brought more star-power to the table. But, given that it’s a show about the power of a woman (among other things), this particular instance of the wage gap feels especially outrageous.
In response to the wage gap, producers of the show acknowledged that Smith did, indeed, make more.
Variety reports that creative director Suzanne Mackey said that the wage gap would be rectified in the future. Said Mackey, “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen”. It’s a good start, but probably little consolation for Claire Foy. The series covers the life of Queen Elizabeth over a long period of time. Each season, the roles are recast with new actors. Olivia Colman will take over as the Queen in the third season. Foy, meanwhile, will be playing Lisbeth Salander, heroine of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, in the spin-off The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
(Image: Facebook / The Crown)