An E! executive has defended the network's decision to let popular host Catt Sadler go after a pay dispute erupted over equal pay.
In December Sadler revealed she was leaving her job after 12 years because she discovered her male co-anchor, Jason Kennedy was making twice as much and her bosses refused to "at least come close" to matching it.
In a blog post about her choice to quit Sadler wrote that she and her team tried to negotiate "what I know I deserve and were denied repeatedly."
"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," she said. "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?"
While walking the red carpet at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards this Sunday stars like Debra Messing and Eva Longoria called out the pay-gap issue as they chatted to E! hosts Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic.
"I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn't believe in paying their female co-host the same as their male co-host," Messing said while live on E!. "I miss Catt Sadler, so we stand with her. And that's something that can change tomorrow."
Longoria told Seacrest: "We support gender equity and equal pay, and we hope that E! follows that lead with Catt as well. We stand with you, Catt."
But now NBCU boss Frances Berwick, who oversees E! and other lifestyle brands, has come out to say the network is right to pay its hosts different salaries.
According to reports Berwick told TV critics on Tuesday, "There is a lot of misinformation out there. Catt Sadler and Jason Kennedy had different roles and therefore different salaries. Catt was focused on daytime. Jason Kennedy is on prime, evening news, plus red carpet."
The TV exec said she didn't feel the issue has been "portrayed accurately" in the press and added: "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."