Closing the gender pay gap

Claire Foy to get back pay for The Crown

LONDON • Claire Foy (above) cashed in on her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth, winning a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild prizes for her nuanced depiction of the monarch in the 1950s and 1960s.

Now her "reign" has been made sweeter after news broke that she will receive back pay as the makers of the acclaimed Netflix drama The Crown seek to close the gender pay gap.

The revelation that Foy, 33, had been paid less than her male co-star caused a royal scandal last month. It was seen as the latest example of sexism in the entertainment trade.

It is not known how much more Matt Smith was paid for playing Prince Philip in the first two seasons of the show, but media reports said Foy would get US$274,000 (S$363,000) in back pay.

The Crown, a series about the British royal family, is one of the most expensive television shows ever produced, with the first season costing a reported US$130 million.

When details of the pay gap emerged last month, the producers attributed it to Smith's six-year stint as the star of Dr Who, one of Britain's most popular television shows. They did not give details of the salary gap and said they would rectify it in the future.

Other actors will take on the roles of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in Season 3, as the characters age and the story moves into the 1970s.

The ongoing pay disparity between men and women is reflected in annual lists published by Forbes magazine. Last year, Emma Stone topped the best-paid actress category with US$26 million.

Actor Mark Wahlberg was the highest-paid man with US$68 million in estimated annual earnings. He made news earlier this year when it was revealed that he was paid US$1.5 million for reshoots on the movie, All The Money In The World, while co-star Michelle Williams received US$1,000.

Wahlberg later donated his salary to Time's Up, the campaign against workplace sexual misconduct.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2018, with the headline 'Claire Foy to get back pay for The Crown'. Print Edition | Subscribe