On the red carpet at the Golden Globes, actress Debra Messing called out E! News for gender pay discrimination, while being interviewed on E! News.
Messing was discussing the purpose of the “Time’s Up” campaign, an initiative started by “prominent actresses and female agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives” to fight systemic gender inequality. Pay equality, Messing said, was an important part of that effort. Then she turned her attention to E!.
“I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female cohost the same as their male cohost. 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,” Messing said.
Sadler recently announced she would leave E! News when she discovered her male co-host earned double her salary.
Last month, ThinkProgress reported on Sadler’s decision:
In a post on her personal blog, Sadler wrote she discovered the pay discrepancy while negotiating the contract with the network. She had suspected a pay disparity existed after an executive brought it to her attention, but had no idea just how large the gap was. Her co-host Jason Kennedy was earning close to double what Sadler made for what she describes as “doing essentially similar jobs, if not the same job.”
“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,” wrote Sadler in her statement. “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?”
E! probably should have seen this coming. Messing expressed solidarity with Sadler on Twitter earlier today.
Messing and most other attendees at the Golden Globes are wearing black tonight as part of the launch of the Time’s Up campaign.
Later in the broadcast Laura Dern and Sarah Jessica Parker also took the network to task during interviews on E!.
“We need the powers that be and all the industries and networks and E! to help us with closing this pay gender gap,” Dern said.
Comedian Amy Schumer raised the issue on Instagram.
This article was originally published at ThinkProgress on January 8, 2018. Reprinted with permission.
About the Author: Judd Legum is the founding editor-in-chief of ThinkProgress.