News & Politics

BREAKING: Famous Actor Got Paid More Than Less-Famous Actor in 'The Crown'

Actors Claire Foy, left, and Matt Smith pose for photographers on arrival at the premiere of the Netflix series 'The Crown: Season 2' in London, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)

I keep hearing about The Crown on Netflix, and at first I was intrigued because it stars Matt Smith, my third- or fourth-favorite Doctor Who. But I hadn’t heard of anybody else on the show, and I tend to get bored with stories about royal families unless they involve dragons and swordfights and crossbow murders. Plus, I’m tired of Netflix. So I’ve skipped it.

But now, finally, I’ve learned something interesting about that show. It’s really pissing off the feminists!

Speaking at a panel at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem yesterday, the producers of The Crown revealed the following juicy item:

Asked whether [Claire] Foy was paid the same as [Matt] Smith, the producers acknowledged that he did make more due to his “Doctor Who” fame, but that they would rectify that for the future. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” said Mackie.

Uh-oh. A man got paid more than a woman? Look out, here come the thinkpieces!

Julie Miller, Vanity Fair:

The Crown’s salary news is just the latest instance of Hollywood’s egregious wage gap. Only this one stings even more than usual—perhaps because the entire series is centered on a woman’s power… If the (TV version of the) queen of the freaking commonwealth can’t get fair pay, what hope do the rest of us have?

Sonia Rao, WaPo:

The revelation that the show’s lead made less than a supporting actor is particularly surprising when considering critical reception. Foy received high praise for her portrayal of the restrained monarch, in which she nailed everything from the queen’s posh accent to her physical poise.

Erin Keane, Salon:

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but women are angry. We are fed up; we have declared #TimesUp on the grabbing and the assaults and the demeaning comments and the gendered expectations in our workplaces. We are tired of being told we are worth less than our male co-workers, both explicitly and implicitly, and when we fail to rectify that through sheer will alone we are tired of being told we must not have wanted it badly enough.

(Yes, she’s talking about a then-unknown actress getting hired for less than the guy who played Doctor Who.)

Maya Salam, NYT:

Not even the queen of England can get an equal slice of the mincemeat pie.

Etc.

Come on, people, it’s 2018. Isn’t it about time to pay women equally? And don’t try any of your mansplaining, you stupid men. Nobody wants to hear “She wasn’t as famous, though” and “Her agent should’ve asked for more money, then” and other patriarchal sexist rapey excuses.

Nobody wants to hear that when Christopher Reeve landed his career-making role in the original Superman, Marlon Brando was paid nearly 15 times as much for what amounted to a cameo role. Nobody wants to hear that entertainment is a cutthroat business, and you’re worth what you can get them to pay you and not a penny more. Nobody wants to hear it. Shut up, misogynists!

It’s simple logic: If you’re playing the Queen of England, you should get paid more than everybody who’s not playing the Queen of England. I mean, duh. Portraying someone in a position of authority always pays more. When you watch a Tom Cruise character getting yelled at by his boss in a movie, do you really think Tom Cruise got paid more than the guy who played the boss? How would that even work?

And whatever you do, don’t pretend to just be happy that an actress you like landed a breakthrough role and gave a great performance. Don’t just look forward to following her career and seeing what she does next. Where’s the social justice in that? Where’s the clickbait in that?

Don’t bore me with facts. Don’t test my patience with reality. If it won’t fit in a tweet, I don’t want to hear it.

#TimesUp. #MeToo!