Even 'Queen Elizabeth' struggles for equal pay

March 14, 2018
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It seems that even the royal family is afflicted by the gender pay gap – or their on-screen equivalents, at least.

The creators of Netflix production The Crown have admitted that Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth II, was paid less than Matt Smith, who played her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.

Foy, 33, may have won a Golden Globe for her performance in the popular series but Smith’s previous role in Doctor Who had put him at the top of the pay scale, the show’s producers said.

Foy, on the other hand, had only appeared in smaller British dramas before winning The Crown’s main role.

But she quickly became a star after she was cast as the young queen, earning a best actress Golden Globe for the first season and a Golden Globe nomination in the same category for the second season.

She also won an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama for the first season.

The Weinstein Company And Netflix Golden Globe Party, Presented With FIJI Water, Grey Goose Vodka, Lindt Chocolate, And Moroccanoil - Red Carpet
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: Actress Claire Foy at The Weinstein Company and Netflix Golden Globes Party presented with Landmark Vineyards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
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Claire Foy won a number of awards for her portrayal of the Queen

Smith, 35, was not nominated for a major award for his role.

Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries told Variety, however, that the pay imbalance would change in the third series, when Olivia Colman will replace Foy as the Queen.

Mackie said: “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.”

According to a Variety estimate, Foy was paid $40,000 (£28,000) per episode but it is not clear what Smith was paid.

The show’s budget is upward of $7m per episode.

Harries said 120 costumes were created for the queen in the second season alone, adding: “We put that money (the episode budget) on the screen.”

Actress Michelle Williams was revealed earlier this year to have been paid a fraction of what her co-star earned for re-shooting scenes in All The Money In The World after Kevin Spacey was replaced by Christopher Plummer.

Mark Wahlberg made $1.5m (£1.1m) but donated it to Time’s Up, following news that Williams had received less than $1000 (£720) for her work.



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