The Crown stars Claire Foy and Matt Smith have been apologised to by the producers of the hit Netflix show that follows the life of Queen Elizabeth.
The producers said in their apology statement that the actors were not privy to the pay of their colleagues.
The apology follows the revelation by producers Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries that former Doctor Who star Smith was paid more for his portrayal of the young Duke of Edinburgh than his leading lady and co-star Foy, who had the title role of the Queen in the series.
Ms Mackie has been quoted as saying that would not be the case in the third series, which sees Olivia Colman replace Foy as the Queen.
Left Bank Pictures 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”.
The television and film production company said Foy and Smith were not aware of and so cannot be held personally responsible for the pay of their colleagues.
Left Bank Pictures is responsible for budgets and salaries.
“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,” the company said in a statement, which added that it wanted to make a ” contribution to the debate” on equal pay.
Following the comments, a petition was started urging Smith to donate the difference in their salary earnings to the Time’s Up movement.