UPDATE: Aug. 2 — Claire Foy, the leading star of the hit Netflix series “The Crown,” said in an interview published last week that a report she had received back pay for her role as Queen Elizabeth II during the show’s first two seasons was “not quite correct.”
The Daily Mail, citing an anonymous source, reported in April that Foy received an additional $275,000 in back wages following news that she was paid less than her male co-star Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip.
“I’ve never mentioned anything about it and neither have the producers,” Foy said in an interview with Al Arabiya. “The fact that that is ‘fact’ is — not quite correct.”
When reached for comment, Foy’s representative would neither confirm nor deny to HuffPost the earlier report that the actress had received additional compensation. Production company Left Bank Pictures and Netflix, which distributes the series, did not respond to requests for comment. Neither Foy nor Smith is returning for the series’ third season, which picks up its narrative several years later and will have older actors in the roles.
Actress Claire Foy reportedly received a nice chunk of change after discovering she was earning less than her male co-star.
Foy, who won a Golden Globe last year for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in the hit Netflix series “The Crown,” was paid an additional $275,000 to plug the pay gap, The Daily Mail reported.
During an INTV conference panel last March, Netflix producers admitted that Foy was paid less than her British co-star Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip. Foy received an estimated $40,000 per episode. Smith’s rate was not revealed, but Foy’s back pay would indicate he received nearly $14,000 more for each of 20 episodes.
Producers also apologized for the pay disparity.
“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen,” Variety quoted Susan Mackie, creative director of Left Bank Pictures, after news of the gap emerged.
“We are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias and for a rebalancing of the industry’s treatment of women in front of the camera and behind the scenes,” Left Bank Pictures said in a statement at the time.
Netflix tried to excuse the pay gap by citing Smith’s high-profile star stint on “Doctor Who.” However, Foy won critical and popular acclaim for her portrayal of the show’s main character. She was even lauded by the actual queen.
“She’s the queen, for God’s sake. It’s ridiculous,” Smith told Page Six recently at the Tribeca Film Festival. He told The Hollywood Reporter: “Claire is one of my best friends and I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly.”
Neither Foy nor Smith will return to “The Crown” for the third and fourth seasons because the story jumps ahead in time and different actors will be used.
Foy told Entertainment Weekly that it was a “bit odd” to find herself at the center of a story she “didn’t particularly ask for.” Yet during a panel discussion in Hollywood last weekend, she announced that she had the “most extraordinary revelation about myself and womankind.” She said it was “amazing that the conversations people are having now, people think we’ve always been able to have, but we haven’t.”
It’s possible to “be your own advocate,” Foy added. “You can make a point ... without it being you being ‘difficult.’ It can actually just be you supporting yourself.”