Queen Claire Foy on 'The Crown' Was Paid Less Than Her On-Screen Husband Matt Smith


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! 

Cynthia Nixon Announced New York State Governor Run With Zero Experience, Not Even School Board

 Cynthia Nixon and Christine Quinn. Photo: Getty Images

Cynthia Nixon and Christine Quinn. Photo: Getty Images

After the epic problems associated with Donald Trump, I don't know if an activist with no experience serving in office is qualified to be governor of New York. But Cynthia Nixon of 'Sex and the City' fame is undaunted, announcing on Monday that she's running for New York governor, declaring herself as a progressive alternative to incumbent governor Andrew Cuomo. 

On Tuesday, former Manhattan City Council speaker and one-time mayoral candidate Christine Quinn slammed Nixon as an "unqualified lesbian." Ouch!

“Cynthia Nixon was opposed to having a qualified lesbian become mayor of New York City,” Quinn told the New York Post. “Now she wants to be an unqualified lesbian to be the governor of New York. You have to be qualified and have experience. She isn’t qualified to be the governor.” (Quinn is a lesbian and Nixon is bisexual and currently married to a woman.)

The comment was generally perceived as payback for Nixon choosing to back current New York mayor Bill de Blasio when Quinn was leading de Blasio in the polls. Quinn lost the election and in 2015, she was hired by Cuomo as a special adviser. Note that Cuomo and de Blasio have a particularly difficult relationship. 

Quinn attempted to soften her words on Tuesday afternoon, tweeting that she would “never, EVER [sic] criticize someone because of their identity.", adding that Nixon “aggressively opposed my candidacy in New York despite my qualifications for the office and despite my strong progressive credentials," writes New York Magazine. 

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, whose PAC has raised $6.5 million to help women running for office across the country endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday. 

"Kirsten is a friend of Governor Cuomo's and supports his campaign," Gillibrand spokesman Glen Caplin told the Daily News. "He's been a leader on issues she cares deeply about like marriage equality, paid family leave and campus sexual assault to name a few.

Gillibrand is also running for re-election to her second full six-year term in November.

Related: I'm not with her: Cynthia Nixon's NY governor campaign is a farce Salon

Why Winning New York May Come Down to Fixing the Subway Vogue

US Supreme Court: Does Regulating 'Fake' Women's Health Centers Confine Religious Freedom?


It's no secret that I've publicly struggled for a decade with the lack of logic in the minds of America's right-wing Christians. large numbers of them -- a minority of America's population -- are now running the state and federal government, thanks to gerrymandering. 

Given all the regulations that Republican state governments have put on Planned Parenthood -- including the width of their hallways and the size of closets (restrictions that render existing facilities not qualifying to operate) -- it's mind-boggling to see them go before the Supreme Court and argue that fake pregnancy counseling centers are legit and cannot be subject to state laws because they are run by Christians. Any attempt to govern them by laws is an illegal attack on their religious freedoms. 

The test of these perceived freedoms is now before the US Supreme Court, in the first abortion-related case of the Trump administration. 

Any Woman Can is part of a nationwide network of over 3,000 “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) established by evangelical Christians to dissuade women from having abortions.  Presenting themselves as women's health centers that support women when Planned Parenthood closes down, unable to meet state laws, these so-called clients typically have no licensed medical professionals on staff. 

The Any Woman Can website says it offers a comprehensive overview of health care options open to women. This is a blatant lie. Other members of this network are Pregnancy Care Clinics and Informed Choices, also arguing before the Supreme Court On Tuesday.

When arguments begin before the US Supreme Court on Tuesday, "an attorney representing the Christian-run Pregnancy Care Clinic in El Cajon, California, will argue before the high court that California violated the clinic’s constitutional right to free speech by enacting a law that requires centers that are licensed as family planning facilities to notify women that the state offers free or low-cost birth control and abortion services. The law also requires pregnancy centers to disclose if they have no medical providers on staff." writes Huff Po's Laura Bassett.

“They’re forcing us to use our walls as a billboard to promote abortion,” Pregnancy Care Clinic Executive Director Josh McClure told Reuters. The clinic is being represented by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates legal organization (NIFLA).

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) will defend the state’s 2015 Reproductive FACT Act, which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld last year.

“Information is power,” Becerra said in a statement, “and all women should have access to the information they need when making personal health care decisions.”

This case -- and several others before the Court -- argue that requiring health centers to display notice of all healthcare options available to women in a state is an example of unlawful "compelled speech." 

Abortion rights advocates say the roughly 2,700 U.S. anti-abortion pregnancy centers, including around 200 in California, far outnumber facilities providing abortions.


California’s Reproductive FACT Act was passed by a Democratic-led legislature in 2015 and signed by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld it in 2016, finding it did not discriminate based on viewpoint. The pregnancy centers appealed that ruling to the US Supreme Court.

Attorney Kristen Waggoner, affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom, and a lawyer representing the centers, said the law targets only these facilities. “Pointing the way to abortion is a violation of conscience,” Waggoner added.

Reuters further explains the objectives of these fake women's health centers. The El Cajon facility calls itself a “front line ministry” supported by churches and other donors, and offers Bible study for clients and opportunities for volunteers to spread the gospel to visitors to the facility.

“Once they have accepted Christ,” the clinic’s website says, “we begin a discipleship program with them and contact a partner church to hand them off to.”

Its website address, www.unplannedparenthood.org, resembles Planned Parenthood, which provides healthcare services and abortions in clinics around the country. Pregnancy Care Clinic Executive Director Josh McClure said his facility’s name was chosen because most clients have unplanned pregnancies.

Adrienne Kimmell, a vice president at the abortion rights group NARAL, said the name was not coincidental, adding, “Almost all of these places have names that are really confusing and they’re usually in the same city block as other centers that actually do provide a full range of reproductive healthcare options.”

McClure denied these facilities use deception. Regarding abortion, McClure said, “We are very upfront that it is not a service we are going to provide.” In fact, many of the centers offer no birth control referrals and almost nothing to do with women's health services.

One must ask if these facilities are qualifying for some federal funding, as Republicans argue they are a health care replacements for Planned Parenthood. The argument before the Court involves free speech and not the mess of information created for women seeking clarity around their health care options. Having just spent 20 minutes on Google, using simple search phrases, I assure you that it's the Wild West of information out there. And women -- NOT free speech -- the the victims. ~ Anne 

Related: How To Talk About Abortion The New York Times