Claire Foy on The Crown’s gender pay gap: ‘It’s opened my eyes to a lot’

‘I certainly won’t be naive about those things’

Claire Foy and Matt Smith in The Crown
Claire Foy and Matt Smith in The Crown
(Image credit: Netflix)

‘I certainly won’t be naive about those things’

Netflix fans were left shocked last month, as cult fav show The Crown was revealed to have a shocking gender pay gap, with its leading actress Claire Foy paid significantly less than her male co-star, Prince Philip.

Just to reiterate - that’s the actress who plays the Queen getting paid significantly less than the actor who plays her onscreen husband, Prince Philip - who featured far less in the programme.

Unsurprisingly, the news of The Crown’s gender pay gap hasn’t gone down well, with both Claire Foy and Matt Smith as well as the show’s producers releasing statements at the time.

Golden Globes 2018

Claire Foy and Matt Smith. Credit: REX
(Image credit: Rex)

While Claire voiced the fact that it was ‘very odd’ and explained that she was ‘surprised to be at the centre of it’ at the time, she chose not to elaborate further, only opening up on how the news affected her personally in a recent interview with The Telegraph.

‘It definitely opened my eyes to a lot,’ the 34-year-old explained. ‘And I certainly won’t be naive about those things.’

She continued: ‘It’s really opened my eyes about what I am allowed to have an opinion about, and what I’m allowed to stand up for myself about. And I think that’s really changed my approach to myself and other women in the industry. It’s been only a positive thing - even though, embarrassing.’

the crown season two review

The Crown. Credit: Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

Claire’s comments come after her co-star Matt Smith addressed The Crown’s gender pay gap earlier this week.

‘Claire is one of my best friends,’ he told The Hollywood Reporter at the world premiere of his new film, Mapplethorpe, at the Tribeca Film Festival. ‘And I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly and there should be equality for all.’

He continued: ‘I support her completely, and I’m pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it because that what’s needed to happen. Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind that we need to strive to make this better and a more even playing field for everyone involved – but not just in our industry, in all industries.’

Matt Smith reportedly received some backlash for earning more than his female counterpart when the news originally broke, causing the producers to release a statement admitting fault.

‘As the producers of The Crown, we at Left Bank Pictures are responsible for budgets and salaries,’ the statement read. ‘The actors are not aware of who gets what, and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues.’

We hope this gets sorted for season three.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.