Longtime E! News anchor Catt Sadler is taking a stand over what she learned was a “massive disparity in pay between my similarly situated male co-host and myself” by leaving her “dream job” for good.
— catt sadler (@IAmCattSadler) December 19, 2017
Sadler, 43, had worked for E! News for almost 12 years and was in contract negotiations when she learned that her E! News co-host, Jason Kennedy, was making almost double what she was.
“That was really hard to swallow,” Sadler told People, “but you know information is supposed to be power and when my team began negotiations knowing what we knew, that was the barometer in which I expected to be paid, based on the law and based on what I know to be fair. And what I believe in my heart of hearts is reasonable.”
Salder elaborated on her decision in a Tuesday personal blog post.
“Know your worth,” Salder wrote. “I have two decades experience in broadcasting and started at the network the very same year as my close friend and colleague that I adore. I so lovingly refer to him as my ‘TV husband’ and I mean it. But how can I operate with integrity and stay on at E if they’re not willing to pay me the same as him? Or at least come close? 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?”
“It’s almost insulting because you know you work really hard,” said Sadler in her People interview. “I’m a single mom of two kids. I’ve given my all to this network. I’ve sacrificed time away from my family and I have dedicated my entire career to this network. And when you learn something like that, it makes you feel very small and underappreciated and undervalued,” she shares. “It’s heartbreaking.”
— E! News (@enews) December 19, 2017
In no way does the former E! News host blame her former co-host, who she considers “like a brother.”
“Jason Kennedy is one of my best friends in the whole wide world,” she told People. “He is like a brother to me. And in no way do I want this to reflect poorly on him. He’s devastated, I think, and I think he believes that this is a great loss for the network. He does not want to see me go. Jason is a class act … It’s important that people don’t vilify him because he isn’t the problem — the system’s the problem, the structure’s the problem. And I really do mean that. Because that’s been a hard part of this whole thing because I love him dearly. And to be honest, he has been such a champion for me in every sense. But it’s not his decision.”
The former anchor got plenty of support for her stand.
This is indefensible. Women deserve to be paid fairly. Period. 1/2 of her Co-anchor’s salary? They started on the same day and perform the same job. 1/2 is unjust and an insult. @e_entertainment this is shameful. @IAmCattSadler I look forward to following you wherever you go. https://t.co/yFA0nRBGA8
— Debra Messing✍🏻 (@DebraMessing) December 20, 2017
Bravo Catt Sadler Bravo 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 https://t.co/v35ZQV654l
— Jaymes Vaughan (@JaymesV) December 20, 2017
I can’t put into words how devastated I am. Catt is one of the best entertainment reporters out there, and the heart and soul of #DailyPop and @enews. It’s going to be very hard to watch those shows without her. Thanks for the memories @IAmCattSadler https://t.co/OFcSuShCPs
— Donagh Corby (@DonaghCorby_) December 19, 2017
— Carissa Culiner (@CarissaCuliner) December 19, 2017
An E! spokesperson issued a statement to People defending their pay policies:
“E! compensates employees fairly and appropriately based on their roles, 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.”
This likely won’t be nearly enough. Although it could be argued that the so-called “gender pay gap” often comes down to individual career decisions, such as the occupations women choose and the time spent in these occupations, on the surface this particular case seems indefensible.
Something tells me E! will have a lot more ‘splaining to do!
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