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'The Crown' producers apologize over pay disparity scandal

Though neither actor will return for season three, the showrunners have pledged from now on no one will be paid more than the queen.

Tuesday 20 March, 2018
The Crown actors Claire Foy and Matt Smith pose for photographers at the premiere of the show's second season in London last November.
The Crown actors Claire Foy and Matt Smith pose for photographers at the premiere of the show's second season in London last November. Foto:Grant Pollard/Invision/AP

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Producers of the Netflix drama "The Crown" have apologized to actors Claire Foy and Matt Smith over the revelation that Foy was paid less than her male co-star.

A producer disclosed last week that Foy, who starred as Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, was paid less than Smith, who played Prince Philip.

Since the news broke, a petition has urged Smith to donate part of his salary to the Time's Up campaign.

Left Bank Pictures said Tuesday that the actors "are not aware of who gets what and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues."

The production company apologized that Foy and Smith "have found themselves at the center of a media storm this week through no fault of their own."

The Netflix series traces Elizabeth's journey from princess to queen, beginning in the 1950s.

Trade publication Variety quoted producer Suzanne Mackie as confirming Foy was paid less than Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip in two seasons of the series. She made the reported comment at an industry event in Jerusalem.

She said this was because Smith was better-known after starring in sci-fi series "Doctor Who." Mackie said the gap would be closed with the forthcoming third series, saying "going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen."

Neither Foy nor Smith will appear in the third series, which will star Olivia Colman as the middle-aged monarch.

The gender pay gap has become a major issue in Hollywood after revelations that many female stars were paid less than their male counterparts.

-TIMES/AP

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