Claire Foy was paid less than Matt Smith for The Crown

Matt Smith and Claire Foy star in Netflix's 'The Crown.'

Matt Smith and Claire Foy star in Netflix's 'The Crown.'

Claire Foy may have been the lead of Netflix's The Crown, playing Queen Elizabeth II across the show's first two seasons, but she wasn't getting paid as much as co-star Matt Smith. Mackie acknowledged that Smith's experience on Doctor Who fueled the salary disparity. Olivia Colman (Golden Globe victor for AMC's The Night Manager) will take over for Foy as Queen Elizabeth, while the new Prince Philip has yet to be cast.

This demonstrates the problematic wage gap in the industry.

They didn't explain why Foy continued to earn less than Smith in the second season, after she eclipsed his fame with her award-winning performance.

Netflix's The Crown may be one of the most expensive series ever made, but whoever crafted the budget clearly wasn't thinking about the optics of paying the queen less than her male co-star. (When Smith first started on "Doctor Who" nearly 10 years ago, he signed a three-year, £600,000 contract - just over $1 million in Canadian dollars.) "The Crown", one of the most expensive TV shows in history, had an approximate budget of US$7 million an episode.

According to Variety, Elisabeth Moss earned $200,000 per episode on The Handmaid's Tale after racking up six Emmy nominations during her time on Mad Men. For his role, Smith was nominated at the SAG awards in 2017, and has previously been nominated for a BAFTA for his role as "Doctor Who".

The producers insisted the pay discrepancy would be changed for future seasons - however, that will be of little consolation to Foy, who will no longer star in the show. Foy, meanwhile, was largely unknown in the states when she was cast as Queen Elizabeth. "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen", Mackie said.

Olivia Colman will play the Queen, while the role of Philip has not yet been announced. The same report approximated that This Is Us breakout Chrissy Metz, like Foy, also made $40,000 per episode, but The Crown filmed 10 episodes its first season versus This Is Us's 18.