The news that Matt Smith got paid more for playing Prince Philip on hit Netflix series The Crown than Claire Foy was paid for playing Queen Elizabeth took everyone by surprise last March.
Now Smith, who was at one point being called to donate the difference between his pay cheque and Foy’s to the Time’s Up Legal Defence Fund (akin to what Mark Wahlberg did following the controversy between his and co-star Michelle Williams’ pay gap for All the Money in the World reshoots), has spoken out.
“I believe that we all should be paid equally and fairly,” Smith said at the Tribeca Film Festival (via Vanity Fair) yesterday evening, where he debuted his latest film Mapplethorpe, in which he plays the titular American photographer. “Claire is one of my best friends. I support her completely.”
Smith also said that he’s “pleased” that the producers are correcting the pay disparity, having pledged to rectify the situation in the drama’s upcoming third and fourth seasons by making sure that nobody gets paid more than the actress playing Elizabeth (Unfortunately though, this will not alter Foy’s pay as she has already left the show; Olivia Colman will replace her in the next season).
Smith concluded: “That’s what needed to happen.
“Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind, and we need to strive to make this a better and more even playing field for everyone involved. But not just in our industry—in all industries.”