The Crown: Producers apologise to both Claire Foy and Matt Smith over wage gap controversy

Ilana Kaplan

The Crown's production company - Left Bank Pictures - has issued a statement apologising to Matt Smith and Claire Foy after it was revealed Smith earned more than Foy in the Netflix series.

They said that “the actors are not aware of who gets what, and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues."

"We want to apologise to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own," Left Bank Pictures wrote.

The production company said they "are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a rebalancing of the industry's treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes."

Left Bank Pictures concluded that they "are now going to be in talks with the Time's Up Legal Defence Fund campaign [in the UK] and ERA 50:50; organisations which are working to ensure all women have a voice."

Producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries commented on this only after news went public that Smith (Duke of Edinburgh) earned more than Foy (Queen Elizabeth) even though he was in a supporting part and after a petition began circulating calling for Smith and the streaming service to donate a portion of his salary to the Time's Up Legal Defence Fund.

At INTV Conference in Jerusalem, Mackie had said, "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,"

The subsequent petition stated, “You know gender pay gaps are a problem when even the Queen isn’t paid fairly."

The creator of the petition added, "Women in all industries are facing a struggle for pay equality. Women in the US typically earn 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts for full-time work. And the pay gap for women of colour is even more striking. Black women typically only make 63 cents for every dollar paid to their white male counterparts and Latina women only make 54 cents on average."

It requested that Smith and Netflix “make up for this sexist pay gap by donating the difference in their paychecks to the Time’s Up Legal Defence Fund for sexual harassment and abuse victims.”

The petition just over 4,000 signatures short of its 30,000 goal.

Foy famously won a 2017 Golden Globe for her portrayal of the British monarch, but she left after the second season.

Olivia Colman will replace Claire Foy as the Queen in The Crown's third and fourth seasons on Netflix.