After it was first revealed that Smith was paid more than the show’s star Claire Foy, the actor is now speaking out in support of his co-star’s right for pay parity, as well as a “more even playing field” for all.
“Claire is one of my best friends, and I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly,” Smith told The Hollywood Reporter. “I support her completely, and I am pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for that, because [that’s what] needed to happen. Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind we need to strive to make this better, a more even playing field, for everyone involved — but not just in our industry, in all industries.”
The hubbub started last month, when it was revealed that Smith earned more for shooting the first two seasons of the Netflix drama, even though Foy plays the lead character of Queen Elizabeth II and appeared in many more scenes than he did. Left Bank Pictures, which produces the period drama, issued its own statement, apologizing to Foy and Smith for the controversy: “We… 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.”