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The Crown's Matt Smith finally breaks silence on pay gap controversy

Matt Smith played Prince Philip in the first two series of The Crown

Sharnaz Shahid

Matt Smith has finally spoken about the pay gap controversy surrounding The Crown and his co-star Claire Foy. It comes shortly after Netflix producers revealed that Claire, who played the Queen in the first two series of The Crown, was paid less than her on-screen husband Matt. Offering his full support to Claire, the 35-year-old actor told The Hollywood Reporter: "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."

Matt Smith was paid more than Claire Foy

He added: "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. Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind that we need to strive to make this better and a more even playing field for everyone involved - but not just in our industry, in all industries." Matt's comments echo those made recently by Claire, who told Entertainment Weekly: "I know that Matt feels the same that I do, that it's odd to find yourself at the centre (of a story) that you didn't particularly ask for."

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During an appearance at an INTV conference last month, creative director Suzanne Mackie said that Matt was given a better wage due to his popularity following Doctor Who, while Claire was a relatively unknown actress ahead of the show. She added that this will change in the future, saying: "Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen." Left Bank has since apologised to Claire for their decision. "We want to apologise to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith, brilliant actors and friends, who have found themselves at the centre of a media storm this week through no fault of their own," Left Bank said in a statement. "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."

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