Foy and Smith are being replaced by older performers in the next season of the show, but it did not stop Matt Smith speaking up to support his co-star. Claire Foy has admitted she has been left embarrassed by controversy over the gender pay gap on the Netflix series The Crown.The actress claims the scandal has changed her approach to Hollywood, after a producer disclosed last month that Foy, who starred as the Queen, had been paid less than Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip, because Smith was better known.She said: “It definitely opened my eyes to a lot. And I certainly won’t be naïve about those things.”It’s really opened my eyes about what I am allowed to have an opinion about, and what I’m allowed to stand up for myself about.”And I think that’s really changed my approach to myself and other women in this industry. It’s been only a positive thing – even though, embarrassing.”According to reports, Foy was paid $40,000 per episode – a figure dwarfed by the salary of other television stars. Lena Headey, the British actress, earned an estimated $500,000 per episode for Game of Thrones. Smith’s salary for The Crown has not been disclosed.The gender pay gap has become a big issue in Hollywood after revelations that many female stars have been paid less than their male counterparts. “We want to apologize to both Claire Foy and to Matt Smith,” the statement read. “As the producers of The Crown, we at Left Bank Pictures are responsible for budgets and salaries; the actors are not aware of who gets what and cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues.” Claire Foy, centre, and Matt Smith, right, in a scene from The Crown. Last month it emerged there was a gulf in their payCredit:Robert Viglasky/Netflix He told theHollywood 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. “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.” Last month, producer Suzanne Mackie attributed the pay-gap to Doctor Who star Smith’s higher public profile at the time of casting.She promised that there would no such issue when The Crown returns for a third series, with Olivia Colman and and Tobias Menzies taking over the lead roles. “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” Mackie said.In March, a petition was launched calling on Smith to donate the difference between his salary and Foy’s to the sexual inequality campaign group Time’s Up. The petition has so far has garnered more than 45,000 signatures.In response, the show’s production company Left Bank Pictures urged fans not to blame the cast for the pay-gap. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.