The Crown producers apologise to Claire Foy, Matt Smith for pay disparity; say actors weren't aware of 'who gets what'

PTI

Mar,21 2018 19:31:45 IST

Left Bank Pictures, the production company behind Netflix's royal drama The Crown, has apologised after it was revealed that the show's lead actor Claire Foy was paid less than her male counterpart Matt Smith.

In a statement obtained by Variety, the company apologised to both Foy and Smith, and said they "cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues".

"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. 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," the company said in the statement.

A still of Claire Foy and Matt Smith from The Crown/Image from Twitter.

A still of Claire Foy and Matt Smith from The Crown/Image from Twitter.

"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," it added.

Last week, during a panel at the INTV conference in Jerusalem, Left Bank creative director Suzanne Mackie had said that Smith made more money than Foy because he was already famous after playing the eleventh Doctor on the British TV show Doctor Who while Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth in the drama, was a relative newcomer.

A petition was also started in the UK which urged Smith, who played Prince Philip for two seasons on the show, to donate the extra money he received to the Time's Up movement.

The company said it is "absolutely united with the fight for fair pay" and that it is engaged in conversations with gender equality advocacy group "ERA 50:50 and going forward are keen to talk to Time's Up UK".

"We understand and appreciate the conversation which is rightly being played out across society and we are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a rebalancing of the industry's treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes," it said.

Updated Date: Mar 21, 2018 19:34 PM