Claire Foy Says She’s “Not Surprised” By The Crown’s Wage Gap Controversy

Following reports that her male co-star on The Crown was paid more than she was, Claire Foy told Entertainment Weekly she wasn't surprised the news grabbed fans' attention. Nevertheless, she said it feels "very very out of ordinary" to find herself at the center of a debate on the gender wage gap.
“I’m surprised because I’m at the center of it, and anything that I’m at the center of like that is very very odd, and feels very very out of ordinary,” Foy told Entertainment Weekly. “But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama. I’m not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, ‘Oh, that’s a bit odd.'"
Although Foy was the star of the Netflix drama, Variety reported earlier this month that Matt Smith (who plays the queen's husband, Prince Philip) was paid more than Foy for the first two seasons. The Crown’s producers revealed the pay gap during a panel discussion at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem. Smith’s higher salary was attributed to his previous job on Doctor Who. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” said Suzanne Mackie, creative director at Left Bank, The Crown's production company, during the panel.
Last week, the producers apologized to Foy and Smith for putting them "at the center of a media storm" surrounding the pay controversy. "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," Left Bank said in a statement.
Foy hasn't expressed any ill will toward Smith. In fact, she told EW that Smith shares her feelings: "That it’s odd to find yourself at the center [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for."
Despite Foy’s salary on The Crown making headlines, Olivia Colman will replace her as Queen Elizabeth for seasons 3 and 4. Foy assured EW making less than her co-star won't keep her from watching the upcoming episodes, though. "I can’t wait to see it," Foy told EW.
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