In a statement, Left Bank Pictures insisted neither Claire nor Matt were aware of how much the other was being paid, taking full responsibility for the gender pay gap at the Netflix drama.
They said (via Metro): “We want to apologise to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own.
“Claire and Matt are incredibly gifted actors who, along with the wider cast on The Crown have worked tirelessly to bring our characters to life with compassion and integrity.
“As the producers of The Crown, we at Left Bank Pictures are responsible for budgets and salaries; the actors are not aware of who gets what, and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues.”
The company’s statement comes after a petition was set up urging Matt Smith to donate the pay difference to the ‘Time’s Up’ fund, which helps cover legal funds for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace across all industries.
Addressing this, the statement continued: “We all have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure that these issues are tackled, and as a leading production company we want to make our contribution to the debate.
“As company policy we are engaged in conversations with ERA 50:50 and going forward are keen to talk to Times Up UK; organisations which are working to ensure all women have a voice.”
Producers previously said that from series three onwards, the part of Queen Elizabeth II will be the show’s highest paid, although the role will now be played by Olivia Colman, taking over from Claire.
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