Claire Foy might be playing one of the most powerful women in the world on Netflix’s The Crown, but it seems like even playing the Queen doesn’t guarantee you equal pay.
During a recent panel discussion at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem, the producers of Netflix’s The Crown let slip that Claire Foy was actually paid less than her male co-star Matt Smith.
The information came after producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries were asked whether Foy was paid more than Smith (who plays Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, on the drama).
It was then that the producers admitted that Foy was actually paid less than her co-star.
According to Variety, who was in attendance at the event, Smith earned more for his two seasons portraying Prince Philip because of the fame he’d garnered from playing the eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who. Foy on the other hand, was considered an unknown Stateside, having mostly acted in the U.K.
“The producers acknowledged that [Smith] did make more due to his Doctor Who fame, but that they would rectify that for the future,” reported Variety in their write-up.
“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” added Mackie at the panel.
The fact that they’re looking to rectify the pay discrepancy in the future bodes well for actress Olivia Colman, who is set to portray an older version of Queen Elizabeth over the course of the next two seasons.
That being said, it doesn’t do much for Foy, who’s set to depart the series now that she’s wrapped the two seasons she signed on for to portray the Queen in her younger years.
It’s especially disheartening to hear that Foy made less than Smith not only because the entire series centers around her character’s journey, but also because Netflix gave The Crown such a high working budget.
The series marks one of the most expensive in Netflix history, with an estimated $130 million budget, according to The Daily Beast.
While the extensive budget shows in the wardrobe, scenery, and set design, it’s hard to stomach the fact that they couldn’t factor in enough to ensure Foy and Smith were paid the same amount per episode.
If anything, the pay difference between Smith and Foy on The Crown proves that Hollywood still has a long way to go before they close the gender wage gap.