She may literally be playing the queen in The Crown, but Claire Foy is still suffering from the societal problems of us plebeians. As revealed in a panel discussion about the series, one of The Crown’s producers, Suzanne Mackie, admitted Matt Smith was paid a higher salary as Prince Philip than Foy’s Queen Elizabeth II for their two seasons of work. The reasoning at the time, Mackie explained, boiled down to prominence: Matt Smith was an international figure due to his leading work on Doctor Who, while Foy was relatively unknown to viewers outside the constraints of the United Kingdom. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” Mackie clarified, signifying Olivia Colman will be getting the biggest payday when season three begins filming. (If you’re curious about specifics, Foy was reportedly paid $40,000 per episode.)
This new knowledge of Foy’s pay disparity comes at a time when many women in the TV industry are coming forward to express disgust at being paid less than their male cohorts. For instance, at the end of 2017, E! News’ popular host Catt Sadler said she chose to leave the network over a “massive” gender pay gap between her and her male co-host. Similarly, a year prior, Shameless’ Emmy Rossum demanded that Showtime pay her equally to her male co-star William H. Macy, a demand that was eventually accepted.