"Claire is one of my best friends, and I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly and there should be equality for all," he said. He added that "going forward" the industry should "bear in mind that we need to strive to make this better and a more even playing field for everyone involved."
In March, series producers Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie told Variety that Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth on the first two seasons of The Crown, did not make as much as Smith, who played Prince Philip, for their work on the show. (Going forward, Olivia Coleman and Tobias Menzies will take over the roles.) The gap between the two actors was particularly egregious considering Foy played the Queen of England. Smith, meanwhile, played a grouchy prince.
After the news broke, fans of the show drafted a petition for Smith to donate a portion of his salary to Time's Up. Shortly after, Mackie and Harries, who'd started the media storm in the first place by confessing to Variety, made a public apology to Foy and Smith for the ensuing controversy. In their apology, they pointed out that neither Foy nor Smith were aware of the other's salary during negotiation, and therefore couldn't have argued for pay parity.
"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 Pictures, the production company behind the show, said in a statement.
In the original Variety interview, Mackie made the bold claim that, "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen." Speaking to THR, Smith said he was "pleased that [the issue] was resolved and they made amends for it," although it is not yet clear what that means. Foy, for her part, has seemed baffled that she's at all surrounded by controversy.
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