It seems that even when a woman is in a lead role they still get paid less than their male co-stars, as indeed is the case with Claire Foy and Matt Smith from Netflix drama 'The Crown'. Producers recently confirmed that the latter gets paid more than than the former, though they intend to change that for next season.

Claire Foy at the premiere of 'The Crown' season twoClaire Foy at the premiere of 'The Crown' season two

Hollywood has come a long way when it comes to the portrayal of women on screen and with telling women's stories, but that gender pay gap is still a huge embarrassment for both the film and television industry. Despite the fact that Claire Foy was protraying Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix's 'The Crown', producer Suzanne Mackie still confessed she got paid less than her onscreen husband Matt Smith.

'Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen', Variety quoted her as saying. Creators of the show tried to justify his initial bigger salary with the fact that he was formerly the star of 'Doctor Who'; perhaps more high-profile than Claire's 'Wolf Hall', but if the industry continues to calculate pay by what's on the actors' resumes, women will undoubtedly be overshadowed most of the time.

It's all very well saying that the leading lady will get a pay increase going forward, but this is after not one but two seasons of a show that a woman is the central part of. It feels like a slap in the face for Netflix to be telling the story of an iconic and powerful woman and yet still underpay their main star. 

Neither Foy nor Smith have commented on the recent revelations and there's every possibility that they were unaware of what went in each other's pockets anyway. 

More: Claire Foy did not think 'The Crown' would be popular

They will not appear in the forthcoming third series of the show, with Queen Elizabeth's role being taken on by Olivia Colman. Given that she has starred in the likes of 'Broadchurch', 'Hot Fuzz' and 'The Night Manager' among others, it seems the fact that she's guaranteed more money than Claire Foy is more down to experience than equal rights.