A petition has emerged, asking the actor to donate his pay difference to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund.
Neither Matt or Claire – who are close friends in real life – have addressed the issue, but at the time of writing this story, over 25,000 people had signed the petition. Their goal is to receive 30,000 signatures.
According to the petition, “publicly addressing high-profile cases of sexism will also help create greater opportunities for all women – in all careers”.
Both Claire and Matt starred in the first two seasons, but have been replaced by Olivia Colman, 44, and reportedly Hugh Laurie, 58, for seasons three and four, as the series follows the Queen in the later stages of her life.
The pay discrepancy between the two leads was revealed at a press junket in Jerusalem, where journalists outright asked the show's producers if Claire was paid the same amount as Matt.
The producers admitted that Matt earned more on the series, thanks to his Doctor Who fame, but wouldn't specify exactly how much he was paid.
Meanwhile, it's been revealed Claire earned US$40,000 per episode.
And even though the show centres on her character, and she picked up a Golden Globe and two SAG Awards for her iconic role, she still continued to earn less than her male co-star.