Claire Foy’s portrayal of THE QUEEN in seasons one and two of Netflix’s The Crown earned her rave reviews and a bunch of awards. So it was a shock to find out that she was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith. Matt played THE QUEEN’S husband, Prince Phillip, who has historically always been second banana to his wife, as portrayed in the show. So why was he getting more in his direct deposit than the show’s lead? Could it be because he was…wait for it… a MAN?
The show’s production company, Left Bank, publicly apologized, claimed they were going to pay Claire the same amount as Matt retroactively and vowed to always pay their actors equal pay for equal work from here on in. Except, according to an interview she did with Al Arabiya, she still hasn’t been cut a check from Left Bank or Netflix. You wouldn’t treat the actual QUEEN this way, so why would you do this to her portrayer, you heathens?
Claire tells Al Arabiya:
“That was what was reported that I was back-paid. I’ve never mentioned anything about it and neither have the producers. The fact that that is ‘fact’ is—not quite correct.”
Perhaps feeling that was public reminder enough for Netflix and Left Bank, Claire turned the conversation as to how the unequal pay story coming out has affected her personally. Claire goes on to say:
“Yes it’s Netflix, but it’s a British production company. It happened at the same time as it was coming out with a lot of other people that there was a lot of pay inequality across the board—in the music industry, in journalism, in every industry. It’s across the board that it became part of a bigger conversation, which is an odd place to find yourself in.”
Matt and Claire will no longer play their parts for the next season of The Crown, as the show will age THE QUEEN and Prince Phillip further along in their story. So expect a lot more of the impatient and cranky Prince Phillip that we’ve come to know and love.
Claire also has a refreshing take on the situation – she’s not an expert when it comes to gender inequality in the workplace and is still learning. Claire tells Al Arabiya:
“I realized early on that me being quiet about it or me not thinking about it in any way, and not associating myself with it, would be harmful to me and also lots of other people. It’s taught me a lot, and I’m still learning about it. I have not come out the other side and know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m still learning as much as anybody else is.”
Claire didn’t exactly elaborate on what happened or, rather, hasn’t happened when it comes to her back pay. She also didn’t say whether or not she’s sent a team of corgis to rampage through Left Bank or Sony Pictures Television for Netflix’s offices bearing signs that read “FUCK YOU, PAY ME” and “THE QUEEN WILL GET PAID OR IT’S OFF WITH YOUR HEADS” which should be her next move.