Royal pains with pay discrepancy on ‘The Crown’

Kacie England, Staff Writer

     If the Queen of England isn’t receiving equal pay, there is an issue at hand larger than the kingdom itself.

     Word reached the public that actress Claire Foy, who portrays Queen Elizabeth II on the hit series “The Crown,” gets paid significantly less than her male co-star, Matt Smith.

     The Netflix-produced drama documents the life of Queen Elizabeth II, beginning with her marriage to Prince Philip and leading up to today. It illustrates the day-to-day life of royalty, painting the struggles a woman of power faces.  

     The entire foundation of the show lies in the highlighting of a female protagonist and real-life historical figure, the Queen of England. Viewers everywhere were outraged to hear the news of the gender-gap pay discrepancy. According to “Variety,” the character of Queen Elizabeth only received $40,000 per episode of “The Crown” when Netflix reportedly devoted $7 million into each episode.

     Fans aren’t just fuming over the Queen’s salary-per-episode expenditure ratio; her love interest in the show, Prince Philip, receives a higher paycheck despite not being featured as the central protagonist. His salary is currently not public knowledge.

     Producers of “The Crown” attempted to dispute the gender-gap assertions, suggesting that Smith received a higher salary because of his “Doctor Who” fame.

     However, with further examination, fans and feminists alike dismissed this elucidation. Why is it that in the second season of the show, after Foy’s countless nominations and honors for her starring role, is she being payed less?

     In both 2017 and 2018, Foy won the title of Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Additionally, the Queen Elizabeth actress received a Golden Globe in 2017 for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama.  

     Both of these honors were bestowed to her exclusively for her rendition of Queen Elizabeth II on “The Crown.”  

     As a performer who has been highly regarded for her work as the focal character in the drama series, the gender pay-gap debacle at present becomes even more perplexing.

     What’s even more upsetting is that the chance of Foy’s future paychecks getting rectified isn’t possible, since the show recasts the production every two seasons to depict the characters’ aging.
 “Variety” reported that one of the executive producers of the Netflix series, Suzanne Mackie, stated, “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.”

      Although it is honorable that the administration is attempting to correct their mistake, Foy will most likely not reap any benefits due to the recasting. It has not been reported whether or not the actress will be reimbursed for the pay discrepancy.

      Sadly, upon analyzing this tale of modern-day discrimination, it becomes evident that we may embody the era of the Queen’s youth more than we like to think.
 

 

Claire Foy has won a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II.