Despite holding the leading role on The Crown, actress Claire Foy was reportedly paid significantly less than her male co-star, Matt Smith.
Foy stars in the series as Queen Elizabeth II, while Smith portrays her surly husband, Prince Philip. According to Variety, each episode of the first two seasons cost approximately £5 million ($7 million USD) to make, with Foy earning $40,000 USD per episode. It's unclear how much exactly Smith made, though producers admitted during the INTV Conference in Jerusalem yesterday (March 13) that he did make more than Foy.
Foy was relatively unknown when she was cast on the Netflix show, while Smith arrived following a prestigious stint as the Doctor on the long-running British series Doctor Who. The show's producers said that played a role in the wage disparity.
Creative director Suzanne Mackie said that the wage gap would be addressed in upcoming seasons, adding, "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen."
Unfortunately for Foy, she will not be returning for the third season. Most of the main characters have been recast for the upcoming episodes to demonstrate the passage of time.
Olivia Colman will take over as the Queen, while Helena Bonham-Carter is rumoured to be taking the role of Princess Margaret. There's no word yet on who will replace Smith as Prince Philip.
The upcoming third season begins filming this summer, and is expected to shift focus to new supporting characters like Camilla Parker Bowles and Princess Diana.