The team behind The Crown royally screwed up, but now they’re rightfully bowing down and asking their queen (and the rest of the world) for forgiveness. Left Bank Pictures, the Netflix drama’s production company, has officially issued a statement apologizing to The Crown actors Claire Foy and Matt Smith after news broke last week that Left Bank had paid supporting actor (and man) Smith more than star (and woman) Foy.
A petition urging Smith to pull a Mark Wahlberg and donate the salary difference to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund had reached more than 25,000 signatures by the time producers spoke out about their mistake:
The company, which has financial backing from Sony Pictures Television, went on to emphasize its support for the current push for gender equality.
But it conveniently left out any mention of the petition or whether the disparity between Foy’s paycheck and Smith’s would be redressed. “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 re-balancing of the industry’s treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes,” Left Bank added.
It’s always good to see a company that messed up publicly owning up to its error.
But if there are no plans to retroactively right the imbalance, it feels a little like Foy drew the short scepter in all this. At the INTV conference when news of the lopsided salaries first surfaced, showrunners promised from here on out “no one gets paid more than the queen,” which is obviously the right move, but we already know the show’s getting a new cast for the next two seasons, and potential seasons after that, to reflect the aging, real-life characters.
So The Crown‘s new Elizabeth II, Olivia Colman, will be making fair wages, but where does that leave *GOLDEN GLOBE WINNER* Foy? Neither the actress or her co-star Smith have commented on the situation, but it seems like the queen deserves better.