E! executive Frances Berwick set the “record straight” Tuesday following claims made by Catt Sadler about a “massive” wage disparity between her and her co-host Jason Kennedy.
“There is a lot of misinformation out there,” Berwick shared at the Television Critics Association Winter press tour in Pasadena, California. “Catt Sadler and Jason Kennedy had different roles and therefore different salaries. Catt was focused on daytime.” (RELATED: E! News Anchor Quits Job After Learning Her Male Co-Host Made Way More Than Her)
“Jason Kennedy is on primetime evening news, plus red carpet,” she added. “Our employees salaries are based on their roles and their expertise regardless of gender. We wish Catt well, but I hope that sets the record straight on that.”
The comment comes after actress Debra Messing called out the network during a red carpet interview Sunday ahead of the Golden Globes.
“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. “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.”
Last month, Sadler announced that she was quitting her job at the network because she found out her male co-host made nearly double the amount of money she made. She said that once she learned of the disparity, she and her team asked for the salary that she knew she “deserved” and “were denied repeatedly.”
“Know your worth. 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,” Sadler shared in a personal blog post. “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?”