It's been an interesting time in the world of entertainment. Much of the conversation around the industry for the past few months has been about gender inequity. While the Harvey Weinstein scandal opened the floodgates in regards to sexual misconduct, the #TimesUp movement also helped to bring the subjects of inclusion, diversity, and pay discrepancies to the forefront of conversation. The latter has recently come up in regards to Netflix's hit show The Crown, where it was revealed that series lead Claire Foy was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith, who played Phillip for the first two seasons. This sparked major outrage, as Foy had far more scenes and had to master Queen Elizabeth's peculiar accent. Now the show's producers have responded to the controversy.
News of the pay difference between Claire Foy and Matt Smith quickly went viral, as pay inequality in show business has been a hot button issue for a few months now. Left Blank Picture are the team producing The Crown, and just released a statement apologizing for this misstep, especially in the wake of the #TimesUp movement. Their statement reads:
We want to apologize to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the center of a media storm this week through no fault of their own. Claire and Matt are incredibly gifted actors who, along with the wider cast on The Crown have worked tirelessly to bring our characters to life with compassion and integrity.
It looks like Left Blank understands how they stepped in the mud on this one, and started off by apologizing to the pair of actors for the drama that currently surrounds their tenures on the series. Claire Foy has Steven Soderburgh's Unsane coming out this week, and she's also currently filming The Girl in the Spider's Web. It should be an exciting time for her career, although this controversy is no doubt plaguing her at this juncture.
In addition to apologizing for the hubbub, Left Blank went on to assure the public of their intentions to contribute towards equality in the future. Later in their statement (via Deadline), it read:
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. 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 re-balancing of the industry's treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes.
While this statement may be reassuring, it unfortunately doesn't change that Matt Smith was ultimately paid better than Claire Foy-- despite her playing the show's protagonist. This disparity no doubt comes from Smith's impressive career prior to The Crown, including his run as The Doctor in Doctor Who. Smith was likely able to leverage this during negotiation, leaving Foy in the dust fiscally.