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‘The Crown’ Producers Apologize to Claire Foy, Matt Smith Over Gender Pay Scandal

Variety logo Variety 3/20/2018 Stewart Clarke
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Left Bank Pictures, the producers of “The Crown,” have issued a statement about the revelation that Claire Foy was paid less than co-star Matt Smith on the Netflix series.

“We want to apologize to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the center 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,” Left Bank said.

It added: “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.”

The pay scandal erupted last week at the INTV conference in Israel where Left Bank revealed that Smith, who plays Prince Philip, was paid more than Foy, who stars as Queen Elizabeth II. The U.K.-based producer, which is backed by Sony Pictures Television, said it was keen to talk with the British Time’s Up campaign and is already speaking to Era 50: 50, a group campaigning for gender equality on screen and stage. Left Bank said it stands behind the drive for equality in film and TV.

“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.

Neither Foy or Smith, or Netflix, have commented on the pay story. A petition was started this week calling for Smith to donate some of his pay to Time’s Up.

Two seasons of the lavish series have been produced and Netflix has ordered a further two. The producers have already committed to pay parity for the upcoming runs of the show, which will see a full cast refresh, to reflect the ageing of the characters. Olivia Colman will play the British monarch on the next two seasons and Helena Bonham Carter Princess Margaret. Other key casting decisions are still to be made.

Related video: Pressure mounts on Matt Smith (Provided by Fox News):

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