Netflix producers of the hit TV series, The Crown, recently confessed to paying Claire Foy less than her male co-star, Matt Smith – and now Miranda Hart has weighed in on the controversy.
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.
Why? Because they believed that Smith’s Doctor Who fame meant he commanded a bigger salary.
Naturally, fans of the show quickly took to Twitter to not only share their outrage, but to call for change, too. And now Miranda Hart has weighed in on the controversy, penning her own impassioned response to the ongoing issue of the gender pay gap.
“The archaic system that actors get paid more because they are more well known at start of a series has GOT to change,” she wrote.
“The ‘lesser known’ may carry the show, work longer hours (list goes on) and this system invariably affects women more than men.”
It wasn’t long before one social media user had criticised Hart’s comments, insisting that Smith had “been successful in previous works, and is a recognised name/face that pulls in audiences”.
Responding in her typically thoughtful and intelligent manner, Hart said: “If people want to pay that person more than their role normally would because of that then that is fine. But to be paid MORE than the others around them working longer and harder.
“That’s the issue.”
Foy was reportedly paid $40,000 (£28,000) per episode for the first two series. Smith’s salary has not yet been disclosed.
Of course, Foy is not the first to be paid less than her male co-star – and we doubt, sadly, that she will be the last. In 2017, it was revealed that only a third of the BBC’s top earners are women – and that its highest-paid male star, Chris Evans, earned a whopping £2.2 million last year.
In comparison, the highest-paid woman, Claudia Winkleman, made £450,000.
It is also worth noting that this disparity does not solely affect those on screen: in the UK alone, the gender pay gap is currently at 18.1% – the lowest on record.