Claire Foy will receive $275,000 in back pay for The Crown

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Back in March, Left Bank CEO Andy Harries, who produces the series The Crown on Netflix, admitted in a panel discussion that the lead actress, Claire Foy, was not paid the same as her co-star, Matt Smith. Given how much more well-known Matt was when they signed on, some of us were sort of willing to accept that excuse for season one. But after the series and Claire herself had proven so successful, there was no excuse for her to earn less for season two. Claire handled the scandal with her usual grace, admitting that she was not surprised and that even though it was embarrassing for her, it helped her know what she needed to ask for going forward. Last week, Matt came out in support of Claire and mentioned he was happy that, “they’ve made amends for it.” I wondered what had been done since no specifics had been given. Claire will receive $13,760 per episode in back pay to make her salary comparable with Matt’s for all 20 episodes, which is approximately $275,000.

The Crown actress Claire Foy will reportedly receive $275,000 in back pay for her role in the series after a gender-wage-gap dispute.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Foy, 34, who plays Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix drama, was paid about $13,760 less per episode than her male costar Matt Smith, who plays her on-screen husband Prince Philip, according to The Times.

The producers initially explained that Smith, the former Doctor Who star, was paid more for both series because he was a better-known actor. However, they have since decided to pay Foy the difference for all 20 episodes.

[From Newsweek]

I’m not even going to lie, I got a little emotional when I read this news. I can honestly say I did not expect this outcome. For the record, I never thought Matt donating his salary difference was the right answer, none of this is on him. I assumed the outrage over this would help close the pay gap going forward. But I never guessed they would actually pony up what Claire was due. I’m really happy for everyone involved. Left Bank and Netflix may have wanted to both set things right and do damage control, but they did the right thing regardless.

Not to stir the pot but one name that has been left out of this whole discussion is John Lithgow. Just taking into consideration his very accomplished career and how masterfully he executed the role of Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman, who?), I assume he was paid more than anyone. Since he was only in season one, I don’t think it’s an issue. But Harries promised that going forward no one would make more than the queen. (If I’m being honest, though, I brought up Lithgow just so I could publicly declare, once again, how magnificent he was in the show.)

Lord, I cannot wait for season three!

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Photo credit: WENN Photos and Getty Images

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22 Responses to “Claire Foy will receive $275,000 in back pay for The Crown”

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  1. Lucy2 says:

    Good! Now if they had only done this as soon as the discrepancy was admitted, they could’ve save themselves a lot of bad press.

  2. Liberty says:

    So pleased to hear this.

    I would like to imagine that Her Majesty made a little call and said, “No one shall be paid more than We for Our Own story, correct this, or off with your heads, you sly blokes!” And that she insisted it be handed over to Claire in a fine Hermes handbag, and that together, the two women counted it out over tea, and chortled just a bit.

  3. ichsi says:

    I can hear the man-babies howling at this already.

  4. Ally says:

    Amen! Thank goodness that producer dropped this info (amazingly, she seemed to think it was an amusing tidbit rather than shocking unfairness), otherwise we wouldn’t be here today.

    Btw, in more positive Netflix news, check out the documentary Mercury 13 about the US women’s astronaut program in the 1960s and how the menfolk killed it off, only to restart it after the USSR sent the first woman into space. The women’s testimony about halfway through is so powerful and remarkably relevant to today’s ongoing fights for equal opportunity.

    • nona says:

      Thank you for the tip! I’m going to watch that tonight!

    • Lindy says:

      Am home on leave with a newborn and need something interesting to watch in two hour chunks between nursing sessions at night. This sounds fantastic!

  5. Digital Unicorn says:

    Am pleased and surprised by this, i too never expected they would pony up backdated pay but they took responsibility.

    I love the black lacy dress Foy is wearing in the top pics.

  6. Nicole says:

    Good. That shows integrity in the fact that they learned the error. They could’ve apologized and did nothing.

    • Tulip Garden says:

      Agree. Actions coupled with apology are meaningful and represent a change going forward, I hope. It would be very embarrassing to put themselves in this position again. It could be a win across the board for all actresses on Netflix. I hope so.

  7. Boxy Lady says:

    I’m glad for her. She definitely earned it. She was fantastic in The Crown!

  8. Becks says:

    Awesome news!

  9. paranormalgirl says:

    Good. No way should she have ever been paid less than Matt Smith.

  10. Emily says:

    All is well in the world if only for a moment!! We are reallllllly making progress!

  11. Rumi says:

    I hope others look to this and follow suit. Pay disparity is not only unfair but a detriment to the economy, financial freedom and independence of women.

  12. Taxi says:

    Matt Smith better known than Claire Foy?? Only to Dr. Who fans. Not all of us watch(ed) that show, so I’ve seen & admired Claire’s work for a few years. Never heard of Matt until The Crown & don’t think he was the best Philip they could have found. OK, but no physical resemblance at all to the real person.

  13. Lucy says:

    Yassss!! Get that money, Your Majesty.

  14. PPP says:

    This is the only and best way to be resolved, and rather than criticizing them for making the mistake in the first place, I praise them because that’s the best way to train dogs. Good boy, Left Bank!

  15. Tosca says:

    YES !!! There is good in the world. FINALLY

  16. No Doubtful says:

    I wondered how much John was getting paid too, but IMO, if he was paid the most then he’s worth every penny given his name, abilities, and amazing career. Matt Smith however…did not deserve to be paid more. I never heard of him before The Crown. Anyway, I’m glad she received some money, but IMO she should have been paid more than everyone since she was the queen!

  17. Lou says:

    If John Lithgow was paid more than Clare For in the first season then I understand why, as he is hugely talented with a long successful career and his name would have drawn a lot of viewers. Plus, his role was very large and prominent throughout the season. That’s totally understandable. Matt Smith getting paid more, especially in Season 2? Not so much.