Feminists are up in arms after it was revealed by Netflix that Claire Foy, who brilliantly played Queen Elizabeth in the hit series “The Crown,” was being paid less than her on-screen husband Prince Phillip, who was given an equally brilliant performance by Matt Smith.
According to HuffPo, the producers said this was a mistake, and it will never happen again:
Producers of the Netflix series “The Crown” admitted during an INTV conference panel that the show’s lead, Claire Foy, was paid less than Matt Smith, the actor playing her on-screen husband. Foy received an estimated $40,000 per episode for her award-winning portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, while Smith’s salary for playing Prince Philip is unreported.
Naturally, the internet is outraged!
— Hmcph76 (@Hmcph76) March 13, 2018
— Sandra Kruse (@boomboomsandi) March 13, 2018
— Nicola Heath (@nicoheath) March 13, 2018
This is a whole new level of sexist disgraceful. Shame on you, @TheCrownNetflix. I am so damn disappointed. Since #ClaireFoy will no longer be in the role, you should retroactively pay her the difference. #TheCrown #genderwagegap #genderpaygap #MattSmithhttps://t.co/HAivwlNofr
— Cammie Campbell (@camcamdamn) March 13, 2018
Interestingly enough, HuffPo actually lists the reason Smith was paid more right in the article, but to no avail.
See, before he was Phillip, Smith was arguably the most famous actor to ever play the BBC’s sci-fi juggernaut, Doctor Who. His depiction of the Doctor ushered in a whole new age of viewers, and this was after following up the unmistakably groundbreaking version of the Doctor played by the legendary David Tennant. That’s no easy feat, and yet Smith accomplished it.
Smith couldn’t appear on a show without everyone and their dog tuning in, and the producers of The Crown knew that. You’d be forgiven for never having heard of Claire Foy before she played Elizabeth II of House Windsor. All the star power at the time rested with Smith.
Naturally, he’s going to be hired on for a larger sum than Foy. Many people (myself included) tuned in initially for Smith, and stayed for everything. Of course the show is an all-around masterpiece, with each actor and actress bringing a performance that kept me entranced, even in dull moments. However, no matter how you swing it, Smith was the draw.
If the Queen was played by a far bigger name than Smith, than Smith would have been the lesser earner.
It’s that simple. This isn’t the patriarchy at work, it’s show business paying out to the most to the biggest fish swimming in the pond.