Claire Foy, who plays the leading role of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix drama The Crown, is being paid less than Matt Smith, who plays her husband and consort Prince Philip, producers for the show admitted on Tuesday. Suzanne Mackie, the creative director of the company that produced The Crown, said that Smith’s fame as the lead in BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who had bolstered his asking price compared to Foy, who was a relative unknown before her breakout performance in the popular period piece garnered her an Emmy nomination.
“Going forward,” Mackie said, “no one gets paid more than the Queen.”
Controversy over the discrepancies between the salaries paid to male and female stars has become a sore point for many actresses and TV personalities over the past year, as the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have raised awareness about widespread misogyny and sexism in the entertainment industry. In a particularly egregious case revealed January, it was discovered that Mark Wahlberg had been paid $1.5 million for reshoots of All the Money in the World, while his Oscar-nominated co-star Michelle Williams was paid less than $1,000 total. (Wahlberg ending up donating his entire reshoot salary to Time’s Up amid an uproar.)
According to Variety, Foy was earning an estimated $40,000 per episode of The Crown. Matt Smith’s salary has not been disclosed. Neither Foy nor Smith will return for the show’s third season, as producers for the show have said they plan to replace the actors playing the royals every two years. Foy is expected to be replaced by Golden Globe-winning actress Olivia Colman, while Smith’s replacement has yet to be announced.
Read the full story at NBC News.