Fans of “The Crown” have started a petition urging Matt Smith to donate the difference between his and Claire Foy’s salary to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund after it was revealed he’d previously been paid more than his female co-star.
Organizer Rebecca G started a Care2 petition with the title, “The Queen on ‘The Crown’ Was Paid Less Than Her On-Screen Husband” and has now reached over 22,000 of her 25,000 signature goal.
“You know gender pay gaps are a problem when even the Queen isn’t paid fairly,” she wrote on the page.
The message on the profile continued to read, “Women in all industries are facing a struggle for pay equality. Women in the US typically earn 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts for full time work. And the pay gap for women of colour is even more striking. Black women typically only make 63 cents for every dollar paid to their white male counterparts and Latina women only make 54 cents on average.”
Rebecca G added: “While it may be easy for some to dismiss gender pay disparity for already high-paid actors like Claire Foy, I believe that publicly addressing high-profile cases of sexism will also help create greater opportunities for all women — in all careers.”
ET Canada has contacted Smith’s rep for further comment.
The petition comes after “The Crown” executive producer Andy Harries, creative director Suzanne Mackie and production designer Martin Childs were speaking at a panel about the series at the INTV Conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday when the topic of pay was raised.
“The producers acknowledged that [Smith] did make more due to his ‘Doctor Who’ fame, but that they would rectify that for the future,” Variety reporter Debra Birnbaum wrote in her conference coverage.
After the admission, Mackie added, “Going forward, no-one gets paid more than the Queen.”
Unfortunately for Foy, she will never get that chance to make an on-par salary — as the Queen ages on the show, she’s been replaced by actress Olivia Colman for at least the next season. For Season 3, the show jumps ahead to the 1970s, and begins shooting in July.