Speed Reads

pay disparity

E! defends decision to pay Jason Kennedy more than Catt Sadler

After several actresses decided on the Golden Globes red carpet to call out E! for not paying former host Catt Sadler as much as her colleague Jason Kennedy, the network tried to do some damage control at the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday.

Sadler left E! late last year after discovering a "massive" disparity between her salary and Kennedy's, and while interviewed on the red carpet Sunday, Eva Longoria, Debra Messing, and others blasted 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. "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." Afterwards, Sadler told People she was "immensely grateful for the outpouring of support today," and thanked the women for "using their voices on behalf of us all."

On Tuesday, Frances Berwick, president of Lifestyle Networks at NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, told reporters "there is a lot of misinformation out there. Catt Sadler and Jason Kennedy had different roles and therefore different salaries." Sadler was focused on daytime, she said, while Kennedy is on at night and the red carpet. "Our employee's salaries are based on their roles and their expertise regardless of gender," she added. "We wish Catt well, but I hope that sets the record straight on that."