Claire Foy Is ‘Not Surprised’ That ‘The Crown’ Pay Gap Received So Much Attention

Earlier this month, the news broke that Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip, was making more money than Claire Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth, in the popular Netflix drama The Crown. While gender pay disparities are common in Hollywood and often overlooked, this information quickly made headlines as viewers voiced their dissent over the main character in a female-led drama — the literal queen — making less money than any smaller cast members.

Now, Foy is speaking out about the controversy that has been swirling on social media and in outraged think pieces online.

“I’m surprised because I’m at the center of it, and anything that I’m at the center of like that is very very odd, and feels very very out of ordinary,” she told Entertainment Weekly on Friday. “But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama. 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 center [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for.”

Left Bank Pictures, the production company behind The Crown, issued an apology to its main actors in response to the controversy.

“We are now going to be in talks with the TimesUp UK campaign and ERA 50:50; organizations which are working to ensure all women have a voice,” they wrote.

Creative director Suzanne Mackie has also promised that she will fix the disparity in the upcoming seasons: “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen.”

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