“Our employees salaries are based on their roles and their expertise, regardless of gender,” says the president of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment
Know your worth, then ask for it.
That’s what former E! News anchor Catt Sadler did in December when she found out a male colleague in a similar position was making more money than her. And when the network didn’t agree to compensate her fairly, she quit her dream job.
“My team and I asked for what I know I deserve and we were denied repeatedly,” she wrote on her website.
On Tuesday, Frances Berwick, the president of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s lifestyle networks division, disputed Sadler’s claims at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA.
“Jason Kennedy and Catt Sadler had different roles, and therefore different salaries,” Berwick said. “Catt was focused on daytime; Jason Kennedy is on prime evening news, plus red carpet. Our employees salaries are based on their roles and their expertise, regardless of gender.” “So we wish Catt well, but I hope that sets the record straight on that,” Berwick concluded.
This comes soon after Debra Messing, the star of NBC’s “Will & Grace,” confronted E! host Giuliana Rancic about Sadler’s resignation, while on the red carpet at Sunday’s Golden Globes.
“We want diversity, we want intersectional gender parity, equal pay,” Messing told Rancic. “I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts. I miss Catt Sadler. So we stand with her.”
Sadler, 43, who has been a host at E! Since 2006, was informed in 2017 that a “similarly situated” male colleague, likely E! News and E! Weekend co-host Jason Kennedy, 36, was making close to double her salary for the past several years. When she was unable to come to an agreement with her network when her contract was up for renewal, Sadler says the decision to quit her dream job was difficult.
Sadler explained the rationale behind her decision on her website, writing: “Know your worth… How can I accept an offer that shows they do not value my contributions and paralleled dedication all these years? How can I not echo the actions of my heroes and stand for what is right no matter what the cost? How can I remain silent when my rights under the law have been violated?”
Last year, Sadler was named host of Daily Pop, a live two-hour show which expanded to daytime offering news and celebrity interviews while also hosting E! News on most nights.
“It was my desire to stay at my job. To continue entertaining our loyal viewers around the world. To keep working alongside some of the best writers, directors, and producers in the game. Unfortunately, however, my decision was made for me and I must go,” she said.
Despite the pay disparity, Sadler says she has no hard feelings towards her “TV husband.”
An E! spokesperson told People in a statement that the company compensates employees “fairly and appropriately” regardless of gender.
“We appreciate Catt Sadler’s many contributions at E! News and wish her all the best following her decision to leave the network,” the statement said.
This story was originally published on Dec. 20, 2017, and has been update to reflect recent comments on Catt Sadler’s departure from E! News, made by Debra Messing and Frances Berwick.
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