Disclaimer: major Hollywood stars and women in entertainment already make an exorbitant amount of money. We know this. We’re jealous of this. But like every other industry—handsomely compensated or not—women in film are still paid much less than their male counterparts. According to Statistics Canada, the stats up north are pretty dismal too: women earn less than men in every single field. In fact, a report published in June 2017 indicates that women earn $0.87 for every dollar earned by men, while in the U.S., a similar 2016 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has the discrepancy at around $0.82 to the dollar.
While the disparity is around $0.80 to the dollar in Hollywood, women have been reported to make as little as $0.30 to the dollar on average compared to their male counterparts on some projects. What the literal f, yes?
Here, we keep tabs on the biggest celebrity wage gaps where women are paid shockingly less than their male colleagues in comparable positions—and the times our favourite ladies have spoken out about it.
Claire Foy, a.k.a. our fave Queen of England, has received some much deserved back pay from her time playing Queen Elizabeth on Netflix’s The Crown. According to the Daily Mail, the actor has received £200,000 ($275,000) for her work on the first two seasons of the popular series. The news comes as a relief to many of the show’s fans, who were shocked to hear that Foy was paid less than her costar Matt Smith (who played her on-screen husband, Prince Philip), despite playing the titular character in the series and even earning a Golden Globe for her stellar performance in the first season.
During a panel discussion with the cast on April 28, the actor was questioned about the pay gap, and chose to focus on the positives.
“It’s sort of amazing that the conversations people are having now, people think we’ve always been able to have, but we haven’t,” Foy said, according to Variety. “You asking me that question is probably the first time in my career that anybody has ever asked me about being a woman in this industry, or just being a woman in general, and to me I find that amazing.”
Foy—who was joined by costar Vanessa Kirby, along with show creator Peter Morgan—went on to explain the controversy taught her an important lesson.
“If I don’t speak up and support myself, then no one else can,” Foy said. “It’s about being able to feel you can be your own advocate, and you can make a point, and you can say something without it being you being ‘difficult.’ It can actually just be you supporting yourself.”
Executive producers of the Netflix series first acknowledged the show’s wage gap during a INTV conference in Jerusalem in March. TV brass said the reason for the pay disparity was that Smith came to the show an already established actor—most well-known for his time portraying the titular role on BBC’s Doctor Who from 2010 to 2013—while Foy was a relative unknown. They didn’t, however, explain why her salary was seemingly not renegotiated despite the show’s enormous success.
The news sparked serious outrage online, and in an interview with EW, Foy said she wasn’t surprised by people’s reactions. “I’m surprised because I’m at the center of it, and anything that I’m at the center of like that is very very odd, and feels very very out of ordinary,” the actor told EW. “But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama. I’m not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, ‘Oh, that’s a bit odd.’”
Suzanne Mackie, creative director of Left Bank Pictures (which produced The Crown) also said at the conference that “going forward, no one gets paid more than the queen.” Olivia Colman will take over the role of Queen Elizabeth II in Season 3.
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