The drama surrounding E! News keeps getting more complicated.
ICYMI, here's the background story: In January, Catt Sadler, the former anchor for E! News, E! News Weekend, and Daily Pop, quit her job after discovering there was a serious wage discrepancy between her and her male co-host, Jason Kennedy. Reports say Kennedy was taking home twice as much as his female counterpart.
“We are living in a new era," Sadler wrote on her blog, theCATTWALK. "The gender pay gap is shrinking, although admittedly we have a long way to go. And well, I learned this first hand. My team and I asked for what I know I deserve and were denied repeatedly."
All of this took place right before the 2018 Golden Globes, and inevitably, Sadler's story was a topic of discussion on the red carpet. Stars, like Debra Messing, Reese Witherspoon, and Eva Longoria spoke up for the female anchor, saying that they support gender equality and equal pay.
“We’re also here for Time’s Up, we support gender equality and equal pay and we hope that E! follows that lead and we stand with Catt,” Longoria said when she was being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest.
Well, according to a new expose in The New York Times, the network wasn't pleased this clip made it live, and one of their producers is now claiming she was fired because of the incident. The producer in question, Aileen Gram-Moreno, has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on the grounds that she was unfairly terminated and replaced by a male producer.
Gram-Moreno explained to the Times that she was given directions to flag any mention of Sadler in red carpet interviews: “They said, if there’s any mention of Catt in the preshow, make sure you flag it. You’re censoring celebrities; it’s just not a good idea in my humble opinion. But it wasn’t my decision.”
Because there were so many interviews to review, Gram-Moreno said she couldn't fully vet all of them and approved the clip of Longoria before she heard the actress say, "We stand with Catt." A few days later, she was let go from her position, and she told the source that “the executive producer said it was because you let the Catt mention get on air."
When asked for comment on these events, an E! spokeswoman said, “For the past decade Aileen Gram-Moreno was a freelancer who worked an average of 20 days per year solely for our red-carpet coverage. After the Golden Globes, she was asked not to return due to job performance issues. Ms. Gram-Moreno filed her legal claim after her request for a financial settlement was turned down.”
With the Oscars coming up tomorrow, it remains to be seen how celebrities will react to this latest development. Page Six has reported that several stars plan to avoid E! host Ryan Seacrest amid new claims of sexual aggression, making for a potentially awkward red carpet before the highly-anticipated show.