E! Defends Decision to Pay Catt Sadler Less Than Her Male Co-Host
E! is defending the large pay discrepancy between Catt Sadler and her former E! News co-host Jason Kennedy.
E! chief Frances Berwick, who is the president of Lifestyle Networks at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Pasadena, California, that judgments about the situation were being made without all the facts.
"There is a lot of misinformation out there,” Berwick said. “Catt Sadler and Jason Kennedy had different roles and therefore different salaries. Catt was focused on daytime. Jason Kennedy is on primetime evening news, plus red carpet. Our employee’s salaries are based on their roles and their expertise regardless of gender. We wish Catt well, but I hope that sets the record straight on that."
His statement came after a panel presenting Rose McGowan's new reality TV series, Citizen Rose, which will follow the activist and sexual harassment whistle blower as she works to release her new memoir, Brave. When asked how McGowan felt about being part of a network that reportedly doesn't pay women and men for equal work, McGowan told the reporter that her deal with E! before Sadler's statement.
"That came about after I had already done my deal,” McGowan said. “I will say that, ‘No, let me hang out a while,’ maybe things will change. Probably if you’re sitting next to a woman and you work the same job as her and you [asked], ‘What do you get paid?’ I almost guarantee you’re being paid more. There is a difference, and that is systemic. You can call it against E!, you can call it out against every single job there is, because it’s not illegal to discriminate that way.”
Sadler parted ways with the network back in December after discovering a massive pay disparity between her and Kennedy. She released a statement on social media outlining her decision and calling for equal pay for equal work.
During the Golden Globes on Sunday, actresses like Debra Messing called out the network. "I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female cohost the same as their male cohost,” Messing said while being interviewed on E!. “I miss Catt Sadler. So we stand with her. And that’s something that can change tomorrow. We want people to start having this conversation that women are just as valuable as men.”
Other actresses, including Julianne Moore, Brie Larson, and Amy Schumer, lent their support of the talk show host on social media.