“Jason Kennedy and Catt Sadler had different roles, and therefore different salaries,” Frances Berwick, president of NBCU Cable Entertainment’s lifestyle networks told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday, January 9. “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.”
Us Weekly exclusively revealed that Sadler left E! after 12 years with the network when she learned that Kennedy had been paid significantly more than her for the past several years, although the two started at the company in the same year.
Following her departure, many actresses, including Debra Messing and Sarah Jessica Parker, spoke up for the former host at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, January 7. The next day, Sadler took to her Instagram Story to thank them for defending her.
“To the sisterhood of strong women using their voices on my behalf — I’m humbled, grateful, and beyond inspired by your relentless pursuing of what’s fair for ALL women,” she wrote. “I salute you, love you, and miss you too. #TimesUp.”
Sadler confirmed she had left E! over a pay dispute in a post on her website on December 20. “Information is power. Or it should be. We are living in a new era. The gender pay gap is shrinking, although admittedly we have a long way to go. And well, I learned this first hand. My team and I asked for what I know I deserve and were denied repeatedly,” she wrote in part at the time. “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. 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?”
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