Catt Sadler's pay dispute inspires boycott of 'E! News'

Entertainment reporter Catt Sadler at a press junket in L.A. on Nov. 13. (Photo: Amanda Edwards/WireImage)

Catt Sadler is reminding women to “know your worth,” as she exits E! Entertainment television as a result of a “massive disparity in pay between my similarly situated male co-host and myself.”

After appearing on her final episode of the Daily Pop and E! News with Jason Kennedy on Tuesday evening, the longtime co-host of the network’s flagship news show wrote an honest blog post about her departure and why it was important for her to make the difficult decision to leave.

The 43-year-old reflected on her career milestones throughout her 12 years with E! shows including Daily 10, E! News, and, most recently, the Daily Pop, and ultimately the responsibility she felt to exit after failed attempts to negotiate her pay with the network.

“Know your worth,” she stated on her blog the Catt Walk. “I have two decades of 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? 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?”

Recent talks about renewing Sadler’s contract led to her discovery that Kennedy is reportedly making nearly double her own salary — an issue she’s speaking out about, as so many other women of late come forward to speak their own truths.

“Females refuse to remain silent on issues that matter most because without our voices, how will we invoke lasting change?” she continued. “How can we make it better for the next generation of girls if we do not stand for what is fair and just today?”

And the post has not gone without reactions from women who have followed Sadler’s career and now her advice.

In a number of threads taking place on Twitter, fans of the broadcast journalist are calling for a boycott of the network whose fanbase is largely made up of women. As a response to E’s tweet wishing Sadler well, people are saying it’s about time to let the NBC-owned network lose some undeserving views.

Olivia Munn also shared her support:

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, gender pay gaps have narrowed at a semi-regular pace since 1960 — although the gap still largely exists. On average, a woman today is paid 80 cents to a man’s dollar, which leaves the gender pay gap at 20 percent. This latest data, gathered from wages in 2016, gives way to a prospective date of pay equity in 2059. And in the meantime, women are left to their own devices to expedite necessary change.

Sadler, a single mother of two, is just one example of a notable woman using her voice to not only encourage but also demand fairer circumstances. Others include actress Jessica Chastain, who responded to Sadler’s disappointing news.

“When are companies like @e_entertainment going to understand that women should be paid fairly,” the two-time Oscar nominee questioned. “1/2 of her male counterpart is not appropriate.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Jennifer Lawrence thanked Sadler for sharing her story. The Hunger Games star previously wrote in a piece for Lenny, the newsletter started by Lena Dunham, about unequal pay, revealing that she discovered from the Sony hack “how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with d***s.” Ultimately, Lawrence said she was more upset with herself than she was with the company.

“I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need. (I told you it wasn’t relatable, don’t hate me),” she wrote. “But if I’m honest with myself, I would be lying if I didn’t say there was an element of wanting to be liked that influenced my decision to close the deal without a real fight.” The star concluded that she was “over” finding ways to state her opinion while remaining likable.

Since then, more people have been talking about it, including Oprah Winfrey, Emma Stone, and Priyanka Chopra, as well as renowned athletes like Hope Solo, broadening the conversation beyond Hollywood.

But in a time when women are already prepared to fight against issues of sexism and sexual harassment in the industry, fans are asking that these influential women add pay equity to the list of causes they’ll take action for this award season.

“Seems like a great time NOT to talk to E! on the red carpet this year, no?” one Twitter user replied to Chastain’s defense of Sadler. And others are continuing to agree.

Kennedy, who shared the news with a farewell video to his co-host, will continue his role as a correspondent for E!’s red carpet coverage and a co-host of the network’s E! News evening series, without Sadler’s appearances twice a week. As for the Daily Pop, Liz Hernandez filled in as host of Wednesday’s segment — the first since Sadler’s departure.

An E! spokesperson tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “E! compensates employees fairly and appropriately based on their roles, regardless of gender. We appreciate Catt Sadler’s many contributions at E! News and wish her all the best following her decision to leave the network.”

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