Matt Smith *finally* opened up about Claire Foy’s pay disparity on The Crown, and about time

Well, it’s about time. Weeks after it was revealed that Matt Smith earned more than Claire Foy during their two seasons on The Crown, the former Doctor Who star has officially spoken out about the pay disparity.

In March, producers of the hit Netflix series attending the INTV Conference in Jerusalem were asked about the salaries of the leading actors, prompting Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries to admit that Matt Smith made a higher salary than Claire Foy — despite her playing the titular role.

After a lot of justified outrage, Left Bank, the production company behind The Crown, apologized for the gross inequality, vowing, “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen.” Considering that should have been the position from the start, many felt like Foy deserved better. Jared Harris, who played King George VI on the hit series, told Digital Spy that he thought Left Bank should retroactively bring Foy’s salary up to parity, saying, “I understand they made an apology but, you know, an apology and a check would be more welcome.” 

While Matt Smith largely stayed silent as the scandal erupted, he finally broke his silence this week.

On the red carpet for the premiere of his new film Mapplethorpe, which opened at the Tribeca Film Festival, the actor voiced his support for Foy, who he called “one of [his] best friends.” Without going into specifics, the actor revealed that Left Bank “made amends” with his co-star.

"Claire is one of my best friends, and I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly and there should be equality for all," Smith told The Hollywood Reporter. "I support her completely, and I'm pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it because that's what needed to happen."

"Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind that we need to strive to make this better and a more even playing field for everyone involved — but not just in our industry, in all industries."

While it’s unclear whether Left Bank went back and brought Foy’s pay up to parity, we’re glad Foy’s co-stars have her back…

…And that the company is at least trying to atone for this egregious error. Hopefully, going forward, production companies will think twice before shorting their female stars.

Late last month, Foy spoke out about the controversy, remarking that while it was “a bit odd” to be in the middle of a massive media controversy, she’s not surprised that people were baffled by the glaring pay gap. She added, “But I know that Matt feels the same that I do, that it’s odd to find yourself at the center [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for.”

Season 3 of the Netflix series will see all principal characters recast with older actors, with Olivia Colman stepping in to play Queen Elizabeth, Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret.

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