Lovers of Left Bank Pictures' Netflix series'The Crown' had a rude awakening last week, learning that 'The Crown' star Claire Foy -- that would be Queen Elizabeth II -- was paid less than her male co-star Matt Smith, playing Prince Philip. Foy herself won't benefit from the new policy, because she is replaced by Olivia Colman playing a new and older Queen next season.
Left Bank Pictures apologized on Tuesday, issuing a statement saying “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.”
In a not very subtle attempt to protect Matt Smith, Left Bank said that they are solely “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.” They also claimed to be “absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a re-balancing of the industry’s treatment of women.”
An online petition titled The Queen on 'The Crown' Was Paid Less Than Her On-Screen Husband' has 30,718 signatures with a goal of 35,000. The petition asks Netflix and Matt Smith to "make up for this sexist pay gap by donating the difference in their paychecks to the TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund for Sexual Harassment & Abuse Victims!