E! is facing another complaint. Aileen Gram-Moreno, who had worked as a part-time producer for E!’s red-carpet shows for the last 12 years, told The New York Times that she was fired following the Golden Globes, after a clip aired of Eva Longoria, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman calling out the alleged unequal pay of Catt Sadler.
As previously reported, Sadler left the network after learning that her cohost Jason Kennedy was making nearly double her salary. After Debra Messing brought up Sadler to Giuliana Rancic, the producer claims she was instructed to flag any future mentions of Sadler, Time’s Up or the #MeToo movement. However, an insider claims that her job was to flag any buzzy moments, not just the Sadler mentions. While E!’s red carpet show is live, not all interviews can air live since so many happen simultaneously.
Gram-Moreno told the Times she felt like E! was “censoring celebrities,” but it wasn’t her decision to make. While she did her best to listen to each interaction, she missed the end of Eva Longoria’s interview when she said, “We stand with you, Catt.”
Five days after the Globes, she was fired from upcoming award shows she had already been booked for, including the Grammys, the SAGs and the Oscars. The EP told her it was because of the Sadler mention that she was let go.
Adam Stotsky, president of E! Entertainment, claimed that the network did not try to censor any celebrities, pointing out that all of the interviews with those celebs who brought up Sadler — including Natalie Portman’s interview, which didn’t make it to air because of timing — were still published online.
“We don’t agree with Debra Messing’s assertion. We’re not in the business of being a megaphone for an inaccurate story,” Stotsky said, but added that the workload at the Globes did not change and Gram-Moreno was let go because of “pattern of poor performance.” He also noted because she was a freelance producer, she was not technically “fired.”
A spokeswoman for E! told Us Weekly: “For the past decade Aileen Gram-Moreno was a freelancer who worked an average of 20 days per year solely for our red-carpet coverage. After the Golden Globes, she was asked not to return due to job performance issues. Ms. Gram-Moreno filed her legal claim after her request for a financial settlement was turned down.”
Gram-Moreno’s lawyer said that her client received a performance-based raise five years ago and that E! had never once complained about her work. The producer also said she had been replaced by a male producer — and he was given a higher title. When Gram-Moreno requested that E! pay her for the shows she was previously booked for, the network declined. She then “resorted to legal action.” A network source told Us Weekly that she has made multiple unsuccessful attempts at a seven-figure settlement.
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