At the INTV conference in Jerusalem last week, Deadline’s Peter White got the scoop that Claire Foy, star of Netflix’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning The Crown, had been paid less than her co-star in the first two seasons, Matt Smith. Producers were responding to a question regarding gender pay equality during the White-moderated Crown panel. Now, a petition originated at Care2, which bills itself as “the world’s largest community for good,” has been addressed to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Smith, seeking a donation of the difference in Smith and Foy’s paychecks to the Time’sUp Legal Defense Fund.
Smith, who played Prince Phillip, had a higher profile than Queen Elizabeth II’s Foy going into the series. “He had been Doctor Who,” exec producer Suzanne Mackie said in Jerusalem. But going forward, she allowed, “It’s really important for the Queen to be paid more.”
It is not clear what the disparity in the two actors’ salary was, and none of the parties has commented. The Care2 petition, which refers to a “sexist pay gap,” had garnered a little over 22K signatures out of a 25K goal by Monday morning.
The Silicon Valley-based social network of activists advocates for women’s rights, animal rights and civil rights. Earlier this year, it called on Mark Wahlberg to donate his paycheck for reshoots on All The Money In The World to the Time’sUp fund. That was amid media reports he had been paid $1.5M versus the $1,000 per diem that co-star Michelle Williams received. The actor ultimately made the donation in Williams’ name.
The third and fourth seasons of The Crown will star Olivia Colman as QE II. In seasons five and six, the role will again be recast. The original plan for the series was to do six seasons, although that could be extended.