The Crown’s Matt Smith breaks silence on pay gap
THE Crown's Matt Smith has broken his silence following backlash over the revelation that he was paid more than his co-star (and the series' titular character) Claire Foy.
"Claire is one of my best friends, and I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly," he asserted.
"I support her completely, and I am pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for that because that's what needed to happen. Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind we need to strive to make this better, a more even playing field, for everyone involved - but not just in our industry, in all industries."
The hit Netflix show became the subject of plenty of scrutiny last month when Foy and Smith's salaries were discussed by producer Suzanne Mackie during a panel discussion as reported by Variety.
Mackie and her fellow producers acknowledged that Smith did earn more for The Crown due to his Doctor Who fame, but vowed that future seasons of the show would see that pay gap closed.
"Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen," said Mackie.
Following the outcry, Foy told Entertainment Weekly: "I'm surprised because I'm at the centre of it, and anything that I'm at the centre of like that is very, very odd, and feels very, very out of ordinary.
"But I'm not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama," she said.
"I'm not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, 'Oh, that's a bit odd.'
"But I know that Matt feels the same that I do, that it's odd to find yourself at the centre [of a story] that you didn't particularly ask for."
Ahead of The Crown's third season, the roles of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Princess Margaret have all been recast with older actors.
After news broke of the significant pay disparity, the production company behind The Crown apologised to both actors.
"We want to apologise to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own," Left Bank said in a statement at the time.
"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 rebalancing of the industry's treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes."