Matt Smith starred alongside Claire Foy in Netflix’s The Crown, but was reportedly paid far more than his female co-star. Now, he has addressed their gender pay gap for the first time – and vowed to support Foy over it, too.
Claire Foy, who played the lead role as Queen Elizabeth in the first two seasons of Netflix’s The Crown, starred opposite Matt Smith, who portrayed her husband, Prince Phillip.
The actress has since won countless awards for her portrayal of the young royal, yet producers recently confirmed that they paid Foy less than her male co-star, as they felt his Doctor Who fame meant he commanded a bigger salary.
Now, sparking at the world premiere of his upcoming film Mapplethorpe, Smith has addressed the show’s gender pay gap.
And, more importantly, he has thrown his support behind his “best friend” Foy, too.
“Claire is one of my best friends, and I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly and there should be equality for all,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
“I support her completely, and I’m pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it because that what’s needed to happen.”
Smith added: “Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind that we need to strive to make this better and a more even playing field for everyone involved – but not just in our industry, in all industries.”
It is unclear what Smith’s remark of “made amends” means, as Netflix has not put out a statement on the matter.
Foy previously revealed that, while she completely understands why the pay gap story generated so many comments online, she disliked being “at the centre of it”.
“I’m surprised because I’m at the centre of it, and anything that I’m at the centre of like that is very very odd, and feels very very out of [the] ordinary,” she said.
“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.’”
The Netflix star continued: “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.”
After her wage packet was made public (Foy was reportedly paid $40,000 per episode for the first two series), the producers of The Crown issued an apology to both her and her male co-star over the pay disparity.
“We want to apologise to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own,” said a spokesperson for Left Bank Pictures.
“Claire and Matt are incredibly gifted actors who, along with the wider cast on The Crown have worked tirelessly to bring our characters to life with compassion and integrity.
“As the producers of The Crown, we at Left Bank Pictures are responsible for budgets and salaries; the actors are not aware of who gets what, and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues.”
You can read more on the gender pay gap here.