While walking the red carpet the Will & Grace actress was stopped by E! host Giuliana Rancic and asked why she was wearing black on the night.
First answering the question directly, Debra said: “I am wearing black to thank and honour all of the brave whistle-blowers who came forward and shared their stories of harassment and assault.”
Debra then got bluntly personal and called out E! for wage inequality - following the resignation of former E! host Catt Sadler last month after she found out her male co-worker Jason Kennedy was earning almost double her salary.
“I was shocked to hear that E! doesn't believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts. I miss Catt Sadler,” Debra said.
She added that the wage gap is something that can be “changed tomorrow” and that people need to start having the conversation “that women are just as valuable as men.”
WATCH THE MOMENT HERE:
Debra Messing drags E! (while being interviewed on E!): "I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn't believing in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts" pic.twitter.com/HF3B2uhwtF— David Mack (@davidmackau) January 7, 2018
In response, Giuliana agreed with Debra saying that this is “really what this movement is all about,” standing up for those who don’t necessarily have a voice.
“Absolutely. I think that that is really what this movement is all about, right? We have an amazing platform here. You know, there are a lot of big, great voices here tonight who can speak on behalf of people around, not just the country, around the world, who don't have those voices.”
Following the red carpet moment, Catt Sadler took to Twitter to that Debra for standing with her.
SEE THE TWEET HERE:
In response to request for comment an E! spokesperson told Buzzfeed: “E! compensates employees fairly and appropriately based on their roles, regardless of gender.”