During a panel for Netflix’s hit drama The Crown on Friday, Claire Foy answered the question we’ve all been asking: yes, there is a difference between being difficult and advocating for yourself.
When the royally unfair news broke that despite being the Queen on a show about the British royal family, Foy was paid less than her male co-star Matt Smith, the show’s creators vowed that going forward “no one gets paid more than the Queen." Unfortunately, in the famous works of early 2000s JoJo, it’s just a little too late. It is one thing to attempt to do the right thing going forward after people find out, it is another to pursue pay parity from the beginning. If you want to do better, you should try to do it before someone calls you out for it.
Foy addressed the topic of the pay gap with the grace and poise of the role she has spent the last two years playing. A queen on screen and off. The actress admitted that prior to the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements and the increase in discussion surrounding women’s rights, she wasn’t asked about her experience as a woman in the entertainment industry or as a woman in general. While the pay gap is disheartening, Foy makes an excellent point. The fact that it is being talked about so publicly and with such support is itself an accomplishment worth celebrating. We can’t forget to notice the small things along the way. It isn’t the end goal we are striving for, but it is a huge part in getting there.
“If I don’t speak up and support myself, then no one else can,” said Foy. “It’s about being able to feel you can be your own advocate, and you can make a point, and you can say something without it being you being ‘difficult.’ It can actually just be you supporting yourself.”
Foy’s co-star Vanessa Kirby, who played Princess Margaret, credited her character for teaching her about herself and about the role of women in the world. Princess Margaret faces more than her fair share of barriers in life due to being a woman. This is kind of an understatement. I pretty much spent the entirety of season 1 and 2 rooting for Princess Margaret to catch a break. Kirby was inspired by Princess Margaret’s continued resilience. I think that trait is just as valuable now as it was then. Where would women’s rights be without resilience?
Both Foy and Kirby have honed in on what is worth celebrating as women fight for equality both in the workplace and outside of it. More importantly, it is a reminder that there are things to celebrate along the way and not just when we have completely achieved our goals.
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