Variety released information that reveals that Netflix's The Crown paid Doctor Who actor Matt Smith more than Claire Foy, who plays the titular representation of The Crown, Elizabeth II. They cited Smith's previous starring role in Doctor Who as justification for the higher rate, but apparently didn't specify the actors' actual salaries.
"The Crown" (L to R) Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
The Crown's salary news is just the latest instance of Hollywood's egregious wage gap.
Foy, 33, won a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards for her nuanced portrayal of Britain's monarch in the 1950s and 1960s.
The Crown producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries made the shocking revelation when they were asked about the stars' pay during a panel discussion about the series at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Foy not getting equal pay on a show where her character and Smith's are constantly fighting about him feeling emasculated by her power is so deliciously poetic I could nearly laugh. Olivia Coleman ("Broadchurch") will replace Foy as Queen Elizabeth.
According to Variety, Elisabeth Moss earned $200,000 per episode on The Handmaid's Tale after racking up six Emmy nominations during her time on Mad Men. The success carried on into the second season, with Foy bringing home another SAG Award and earning another Golden Globe nomination.
While it's positive that the pay scale will be rebalanced from here on out, at this point it won't do Foy any good.
The pay difference was due to Smith coming into the show after a six-year stint as "Dr".
"Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen", said Mackie.
Foy was paid an estimated $40,000 per episode ($800,000 in total for 20 episodes), while the first two seasons of The Crown cost Netflix around $130 million. The showrunners are expected to make more announcements soon concerning who will be cast in major roles.