The Crown Made A Bold Move To Rectify Their Pay Gap

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Bow down to the queen — she's finally getting what should have always been hers. According to The Daily Mail, Claire Foy will receive $275,000 in back pay from Netflix's historical drama The Crown. The news comes after it was revealed that the actress, who won a Golden Globe in 2017 for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, was paid less than co-star Matt Smith.
Per the report, the amount is designed to make up for the difference in wages between the two actors. Though Smith's salary was never revealed, Foy reportedly earned $40,000 an episode. It's suggested, then, that Smith made at least $13,000 more than the actress per episode, despite Foy playing the titular crown on the Netflix series.
The reveal of the pay difference came from producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries, who admitted at an INTV Conference in Jerusalem that Smith made more money due to the fact that he had previously starred on Dr. Who and was a bigger household name.
"Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen," said Mackie, creative director at The Crown's production company Left Bank, during the panel.
The problem, in this case, was that "the queen" would no longer be portrayed by Foy. The third season of The Crown will pick up many years after the events of season 2. Olivia Colman, of Broadchurch fame, will play the role when the show returns to Netflix. Back pay, therefore, was the only way for Foy to truly earn as much as Smith did — there was no future salary they could adjust for the actress.
This isn't the first time that a TV series has sought to make amends for not paying women their fair share. Season 3 of Westworld will reportedly pay its men and women leads equally. This, apparently, was a direct result of the encouragement by Reese Witherspoon and the rest of the Time's Up movement to level the playing field.
Let's hope that these strides will make it so that every queen is equal to her king (or in this case, prince) — salary included.
Refinery29 has reached out to Netflix and will update this post should we hear back.

More from TV

R29 Original Series