With more proof that the issue of gender pay inequality is still alive and well in 2018, these producers are now turning it around – and are paying a female actor over $300,000 in backpay after it emerged she was paid less than her male co-star.
Claire Foy played the leading role of Queen Elizabeth II on the Netflix series The Crown, and, way back in March, it came to light that she was paid less than her supporting male co-star Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip.
It’s unknown how much more Smith was paid for his role in the first two seasons of the show, but Foy is set to receive $364,000 in back pay, according to the Daily Mail.
Producers of the show originally attributed the pay difference to Smith’s six-year role on popular British TV show Doctor Who, but have since apologised and said that in the future, “no one gets paid more than the Queen.”
When news of the pay inequality emerged, Foy told Entertainment Weekly that whilst she was surprised to be at the centre of a media storm, she wasn’t surprised at the backlash the show received.
“I’m surprised because I’m at the centre of it, and anything that I’m at the centre of like that is very, very odd, and feels very, very out of ordinary.
“But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama,” she said.
“I’m not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, ‘Oh, that’s a bit odd.’”
At the Tribeca Film Festival in April, Smith expressed his disappointment that Foy hadn’t been paid equally in the first place.
“I think actually she probably should’ve been paid that originally in the first place and I think everyone’s taken a long hard look at themselves and gone ‘Here’s where we went wrong and can we go forward and make it right?’” He said.
“The problem is it happened too late. She’s the Queen for God’s sake. It’s ridiculous.”
Foy won two Screen Actors Guild awards and a Golden Globe for her role on the show. In season three, other actors will replace Foy and Smith, as the characters begin to age.
The continued pay disparity is also further reflected in Forbes annual list – in 2017, Emma Stone was the highest paid female actor at $34 million. However Mark Wahlberg, the highest paid male actor, earn almost triple; $89 million.
In 2018, gender pay disparity should be nonexistent – but continued stories like this prove it isn’t.
Which is why B&T have created Changing the Ratio, a homegrown, completely Aussie event to drive equality, diversity and inclusion within our industry and beyond.
We’ve got an amazing speaker line-up – including Lisa Wilkinson and Deng Adut – and attendees will walk away with practical tools, case studies and things to do right now within their own organisations to drive diversity, equality and inclusion.
Because not all unequally paid women will receive backpay.