Left Bank Pictures, the producers behind Netflix’s monarchy fantasia The Crown, have apologized for all the fuss they caused after comments they made about Matt Smith and Claire Foy’s salaries.
On March 13, producers of The Crown said at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem that Matt Smith—Prence Pheelip, for Crown heads—made more money than his co-star, Claire Foy, due to the fumes of his fame from Doctor Who. This small fact did not go unnoticed by fans, who eventually crafted a Care2 petition calling on Smith to donate the difference in salary to Times Up. Foy’s salary is reportedly $40,000 per episode; Smith’s has not been disclosed, and to speculate on what it might be will only cause agita—as he was on Doctor Who, it’s probably a lot. Hence, the problem.
In a statement, the producers apologized for dragging Foy and Smith into this fracas. Via Deadline:
“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.
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.
We understand and appreciate the conversation which is rightly being played out across society and we are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a re-balancing of the industry’s treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes.
We all have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure that these issues are tackled, and as a leading production company we want to make our contribution to the debate. So, we are now going to be in talks with the Time’sUp UK campaign and ERA 50:50; organizations which are working to ensure all women have a voice.”
“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” Left Bank creative producer Suzanne Mackie said on March 13 in Jerusalem, shortly after acknowledging that Smith made more than Foy. A stirring sentiment indeed, considering the show is about the Crown, which is worn NOT by Prince Philip, but by Queen Elizabeth; also a curious statement when you consider that Foy’s time on the show is up.
The third season of the show will feature Olivia Colman as QEII, for the producers are rightfully forgoing the nightmare that is aging makeup and prosthetics. So: Olivia Colman as the Queen will make more money than Claire Foy did, which is a great solution for Olivia Colman, but not so much for Claire Foy.