'The Crown's' Matt Smith weighs on pay gap controversy
Posted April 23, 2018 9:44 a.m. EDT
(CNN) — Matt Smith is breaking his silence on "The Crown's" recent pay gap controversy.
The actor, who played Prince Philip on the first two seasons of the Netflix series, was paid more than Claire Foy, who starred as Queen Elizabeth II.
"Claire is one of my best friends, and I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly and there should be equality for all," Smith said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I support her completely, and I'm pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it because that what's needed to happen."
In March, the U.K. production company behind the show, Left Bank Productions, apologized to Foy and Smith for the public debate over their salaries. Executive producer Suzanne Mackie had revealed during a panel discussion that Foy was paid less than Smith, citing his credits prior to "The Crown." Mackie added that this salary disparity would be eliminated on future seasons of the show.
"We want to apologize to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the center of a media storm this week through no fault of their own," a statement released by Left Bank Pictures said, according to Deadline. "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."
Left Bank Productions said it supports "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 re-balancing of the industry's treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes."
At the time, the company said it planned to enter into "talks" with the U.K. arm of Time's Up and ERA 50:50, a British movement of actors and actresses campaigning for gender equality on British television and stage, "to make our contribution to the debate."
New actors are set to take over the roles played by Foy and Smith in the upcoming third and fourth seasons of "The Crown," set in the royal couple's later years.
CNN has reached out to Foy, Smith and Left Bank Productions for comment.
CNN's Sandra Gonzalez contributed to this report.