Photo: @IAmCattSadler on Instagram
E! News correspondent Catt Sadler made headlines when she quit her post of 12 years after learning that her co-host, Jason Kennedy, made much more than her.
A-list actresses were quick to support Sadler in her decision – just this past Sunday at the Golden Globes, women including Debra Messing, Natalie Portman and Eva Longoria all brought up her name on the red carpet, and Amy Schumer urged people to spread the hashtag #imwithcattsad.
“These are women who have watched E! and been interviewed by me for years. To witness them organically coming to my defense was truly touching,” Sadler said to The Hollywood Reporter Monday. “This isn’t a case of simply being underpaid, it’s about the gross disparity between two similarly situated equals at the network.”
However, NBCUniversal President of Lifestyle Networks Frances Berwick said in THR‘s report: “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. 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.”
Kennedy’s wife, too, came to his defense, writing on her blog that, “At one time my husband had a female co-host on E! News who made three times his salary and another female co-host was paid more than him as well [it’s understood Kennedy is referring to Giuliana Rancic and Maria Menounos.] Women are paid accordingly on this network, and the difference in his salary versus theirs did not affect Jason whatsoever, because he knows there are always more components to consider when determining one’s salary.”
Sadler has responded today to the network and Kennedy’s wife’s defense of the pay disparity in a new interview with THR.
“My experience, frustration and disparity was based on Jason Kennedy and myself being apples to apples,” she said this morning. “We came to the network at the same time and did similar jobs. For people to use the argument that Giuliana somehow made more money than Jason, that comparison doesn’t work. They’re apples and oranges. She joined before him, she was managing editor, she had multiple shows on the network. It’s unfortunate that people who don’t work there are trying to be the voice for the network. The only story I can tell is my truth and the truth speaks for itself.”