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The past couple of weeks has seen the Netflix drama The Crown get bogged down in controversy over the pay for actors Claire Foy and Matt Smith. Now, Foy is speaking out about how it feels to be a part of such a scandal, especially when she wasn't the one to reveal that she was paid less for her work in the first two seasons of the hit show.
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. 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.
As Claire Foy noted a few times in her words to Entertainment Weekly, it's "very very odd" to be at the center of any controversy you didn't have a hand in starting. In fact, it's likely true that Foy and her co-star, Matt Smith, had no idea who was paid what for their time on The Crown, since it would make sense that those kind of details would be kept private, as they are in the case of most jobs.
The trouble started earlier this month when Suzanne Mackie, an executive producer on The Crown, revealed that Claire Foy was paid less than Matt Smith while she spoke at a panel during the INTV conference in Jerusalem. Seeing as how the show is about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, with Foy playing the main character and most of the action centered around her, people were quite miffed that this seemed to be yet another sign of the gender pay gap. So miffed, in fact, that the news led for many to call for Smith and Netflix to donate the difference in his and Foy's pay to Time's Up, a charity that looks to end sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace.
This led to the company that produces The Crown, Left Bank Pictures, issuing a public apology to Foy and Smith for putting them in the middle of a "media storm" that the actors didn't create. The company also made sure to mention that neither actor knew what the other was paid, and Mackie has said that the issue will be resolved in upcoming seasons because no one would get paid more than the actor who plays the queen from now on.
While Mackie's assertion doesn't do anything to change what Claire Foy got paid for The Crown, her career at least seems to be going just fine, and she can currently be seen on the big screen in Unsane and is also working on The Girl in the Spider's Web. And, people will probably be keeping an eye on Olivia Colman, who will take over as Queen Elizabeth for Seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown, to see if she feels she's being compensated fairly.