The internet was delivered a shock last week when the latest gender pay gap blow was revealed, this time revolving around our favourite Netflix show, The Crown. It was revealed that the show’s leading actress Claire Foy, who played The Queen, was paid less than her male co-star Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip.
Yes, that’s correct. After completing two seasons of the show, the producers ‘realised’ that they ‘accidentally’ paid the leading actress less than her onscreen husband – who featured far less in the programme FYI.
‘The producers acknowledged that [Smith] did make more due to his Doctor Who fame, but that they would rectify that for the future,’ Vanity Fair reported from the event, with one of the show’s producers Suzanne Mackie adding: ‘Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.’
Unsurprisingly the news of The Crown’s gender pay gap did not go down well, with Matt Smith reportedly receiving some backlash for earning more than his female counterpart.
This is why the producers of The Crown have issued a statement today, addressing the public reaction.
‘As the producers of The Crown, we at Left Bank Pictures are responsible for budgets and salaries,’ the statement read. ‘The actors are not aware of who gets what, and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues.’
The statement continued: ‘We understand and appreciate the conversation which is rightly being played out across society and we are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a rebalancing of the industry’s treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes.’
To echo Mackie, no one should get paid more than the Queen (AKA Claire Foy).
This article originally appeared on marie claire UK.