Claire Foy Is Not Surprised About Reaction To Gender Pay Gap Of The Crown

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The debate about gender pay gap in our society has featured heavily in the media over the past few months now and it is unlikely it will ever go away unless women are paid just as much as their male equals in the workforce.

That Hollywood is having the same debate is nothing that surprises us anymore, yet it was quite surprising to hear that Claire Foy got paid less than her co-star Matt Smith for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in season one and two of the popular Netflix drama The Crown. Especially given that the show is all about the Queen.

After executive producer of the show Suzanne Mackie assured the public that “going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” a huge debate started again resulting in lots of people signing a petition addressed to Matt Smith and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings asking them to donate the difference in the paychecks to Time’s Up.

Left Bank Pictures, the production company of The Crown, issued an apology last week to both Foy and Smith, who found themselves “at the centre of a media storm… through no fault of their own… 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.”

The production company also addressed its future approach to the gender gap and that they are going to make sure that women get equal pay:

“We understand and appreciate the conversation which is rightly being played out across society and we are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias and for a rebalancing of the industry’s treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes. We all have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure that these issues are tackled, and as a leading production company we want to make our contribution to the debate. So, we are now going to be in talks with the TimesUp UK campaign and ERA 50:50; organizations which are working to ensure all women have a voice.”

It really sounds like they have learned from the media storm and hopefully, they truly will change their approach to equal pay in the industry.

After hearing what the production company had to say concerning the inequality in the salaries, everyone was quite curious to know what Claire Foy and Matt Smith had to say about it. After all, they were greatly involved in the media storm.

On Friday (March 23) Claire Foy talked to Entertainment Weekly and explained her view on the topic:

“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,” the actress revealed. “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.’ But I know that Matt feels the same that I do, that it’s odd to find yourself at the center [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for.”

While the news and accompanying media storm may have put a dampener on her experience on the series as she comes to the end of her run as the Queen, it hasn’t lessened her love of the series or her desire to see how Olivia Colman will continue the role. “I’ll be asking to see it earlier than it’s available,” said the actress. “I can’t wait to see it. I think Olivia Colman’s amazing.”

Anna Hattingen