Netflix paid Claire Foy less than co-star Matt Smith for The Crown. She played Queen Elizabeth II, the lead role, while he played her husband, Philip Mountbatten. Picture: Robert Viglasky, Netflix

Producers of 'The Crown' have apologised after it was revealed that Claire Foy was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith.

Left Bank Pictures, which produces 'The Crown', have released a public statement after it was revealed Claire - who played Queen Elizabeth in the series - earned less than her co-star, despite being on screen more.

Read: Claire Foy paid less than Matt Smith for 'The Crown'

They said: "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. 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.

"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."

And Left Bank Pictures went on to say they "understand and appreciate the conversation" currently happening in Hollywood.

They added: "We understand and appreciate the conversation which is rightly being played out across society and we are absolutely united with the fight for fair pay, free of gender bias, and for a rebalancing of the industry's treatment of women, both those in front of the camera and for those behind the scenes.

"We all have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure that these issues are tackled, and as a leading production company we want to make our contribution to the debate. As company policy we are engaged in conversations with ERA 50:50 and going forward are keen to talk to Times Up UK; organisations which are working to ensure all women have a voice."