The Crown producers apologise for the position they’ve put Claire Foy and Matt Smith in

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Discontent continues over the news that Matt Smith earned more than Claire Foy for their respective work on the mega-budget Netflix series, The Crown. In spite of Foy being the lead in the show, producers had confirmed that Smith was paid more for his role, leading to most recently a petition springing up. The petition, that we reported on here, asked Smith to donate the extra he earned to the TimesUp campaign.

However, the producers of The Crown have now intervened, and issued a statement of their own. It reads…

We want to apologize 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.

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.

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.

We all have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure that these issues are tackled, and as a leading production company we want to make our contribution to the debate. As company policy we are engaged in conversations with ERA 50:50 and going forward are keen to talk to Time’s Up UK; organisations which are working to ensure all women have a voice.

What’s unclear at this stage is if Left Bank has made good on the salary shortfall for Foy. More as we hear it.