Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

She Killed It as Queen, but Male Co-Star Earned More

She Killed It as Queen, but Male Co-Star Earned More

Producers point to Smith's starring role in "Doctor Who" - he played the sci-fi hit's Eleventh Doctor from 2010 to 2014 - as the reason for him making more than Foy. Actress Olivia Colman, who won a Golden Globe award for her work in "The Night Manager", will take over for Foy's character as Queen Elizabeth, while the new Prince Philip is yet to be cast. Now, I could have accepted this sort of thing in the first season, begrudgingly, but by season two, there should have been some sort of pay bump for Foy, although I'm sure there was a contract issue that would have protected the production. Details of Matt Smith's own salary weren't disclosed at the time of writing, though Netflix has vowed to stamp out The Crown's own gender pay gap before Olivia Colman headlines season 3.

She's not known for histrionics, but Queen Elizabeth II would surely struggle to maintain her famous poise if she knew the actress playing her on "The Crown" earned less than the man portraying her husband.

In the latest example of pay disparity in the entertainment industry, Hollywood trade publication Variety reported on Tuesday that The Crown producers Andy Harries and Suzanne Mackie told a television industry conference in Jerusalem that Smith, who played a young Prince Philip, was paid more than Foy for the first two seasons of the show.

We need to use the Claire Foy case to think about the universal implications of the pay gap, and the unsafe, roundabout ways in which it might be justified. And, I think all the avid Crown-watchers would agree, Claire Foy did an excellent job. She was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Season 1.

Smith, 35, was not similarly honoured.

"Going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen", Variety quoted Mackie as saying.

Representatives for Smith and Foy did not respond to CNN's multiple requests for comment.

Earlier this year it was revealed actress Michelle Williams was paid a fraction of what her All The Money In The World co-star Mark Wahlberg earned for the movie's reshoots.

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