The Crown's Gender Pay Gap Is Royally Screwed Up

Photo: Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Netflix.
If the Queen can't even get equal pay, then what hope do the rest of us have? During a panel in the INTV Conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Left Bank CEO Andy Harries, creative director Suzanne Mackie, and production designer Martin Childs admitted that actress Claire Foy made less than her co-star Matt Smith on the first two seasons of The Crown, Variety reports. They credited this disparity to Smith's fame thanks to his role on Doctor Who, but vowed that "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen."
That's all well and good, but going forward, Foy won't be there. The actress is leaving the show to make way for Olivia Colman, who will play Queen Elizabeth in her slightly older years.
"That’s not a shock – we always knew when we signed up to it," Foy told People about her departure. "And also not to be funny but it’s also a real plus. I’m sure to some people it sounds amazing but to us it’s like, seven years of playing the same person?"
It's disappointing to see Netflix making amends now when it no longer affects Foy, and that this equality wasn't a no brainer in the first place. The actress played the lead role, inhabiting almost every scene, and going on to win the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama in 2017 and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series in January. No shade, but Smith's role on The Crown didn't earn him any similar accolades.
All this being said, Foy bears no ill-will towards the series.
"I just can’t wait to see where it goes," she told People. "I just can’t wait."
And, according to execs, the show is about to make some real strides.
"Seasons 3 and 4 will be the test of whether the show really has the legs to survive," Harries said during the panel. "I think we were the first television series ever to change cast and continue, and we will change cast twice. It’s daunting but exciting and I hope it’ll keep the series fresh and really of interest to people."
Let's just hope the words "fresh" and "interesting" include "equality" as well.
Refinery29 has reached out to Netflix for comment.
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