‘The fact that that is ‘fact’ is not quite correct.’
While we all initially celebrated the fact that The Crown’s gender pay gap had apparently been addressed, it seems like the celebrations may have been a little premature. Although it was previously said that Claire Foy would receive a significant amount of backpay for Netflix’s The Crown, she revealed in a new interview that that was ‘not quite correct’.
In a recent interview with Al Arabiya, she opened up about the pay gap controversy which saw her co-star Matt Smith, who played Prince Phillip, making significantly more than Claire Foy. He may have been a bigger name than her at the time as the former Doctor Who, however given that Claire was literally playing the Queen – you would’ve thought they would be on a more even playing field.
It was reported previously by the Daily Mail that she had received a ‘bumper £200,000 in back pay’, however she clarified that report was false.
She said, ‘That was what was reported, that I was backpaid. I’ve never mentioned anything about it and neither have the producers.’
She continued, ‘The fact that that is ‘fact’ is not quite correct.’
She was also careful to point the finger at The Crown’s production company Left Bank Pictures, rather than Netflix. The Crown’s gender pay gap became a major news item when the show’s producers were asked at an INTV conference about the gender pay gap, a topic which at the time was spreading like wildfire throughout Hollywood.
‘It happened at the same time as it was coming out with a lot of other people that there was a lot of pay inequality across the board – in the music industry, in journalism, in every industry,’ Claire said, ‘It’s across the board that it became part of a bigger conversation, which is an odd place to find yourself in.’
Left Bank Pictures released a statement at the time saying, ‘As the producers of The Crown, we at Left Bank Pictures are 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.’
After the show initially defended their choice, eventually the show’s creative director Suzanne Mackie said, ‘Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.’
It seems that Suzanne’s words are ones that might need to be read quite literally – that the gender pay gap will only be addressed for the next series, rather than for the seasons and queens past. However if that’s the case, then it would mean that Claire Foy wouldn’t see another dime as Olivia Colman is replacing her as Queen Elizabeth.
The next series sees all the major players replaced by new actors following a time skip, with the likes of Helena Bonham Carter taking over as Princess Margaret and Tobias Menzies as Prince Phillip.
Fingers crossed that things work out for Claire Foy and that this back pay actually materialises. And if not, then here’s hoping she has a string of bigger and better projects with production companies that actually take gender pay disparity into consideration.