Cape Town – An E! boss is finally talking about why E! paid presenter Catt Sadler less than her co-presenter Jason Kennedy, saying she didn't deserve equal pay Catt Sadler was "daytime" and Jason Kennedy was "prime time".
Last month Catt Sadler decided to quit E! Entertainment after E! and NBCUniversal refused to pay her equal to her male counterpart on E! News, revealing that Jason Kennedy earned almost double what she did.
E! didn't want to talk about it then – or since – only saying in a statement that "E! compensates employees fairly and appropriately based on their roles, regardless of gender".
On Tuesday Frances Berwick, president of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s lifestyle networks that includes E! Entertainment (DStv 124), said that "there's a lot of misinformation out there" when she addressed the media at the Television Critics Association's press tour during an E! session in Pasadena, California.
E! has had ample time to clear up the issue with more information and to prevent so-called "misinformation" but Frances Berwick and NBCU cohorts decided not to.
On Sunday E! was awkwardly dragged and shamed on-air before a global audience on E! Entertainment itself, when several actresses like Debra Messing called out E! for its bad treatment and payment inequality during E!'s red carpet coverage of the 75th Golden Globe awards and saying “I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-host the same as their male cohost.”
In reality Sadler as E! News co-host has appeared next to Kennedy for years during prime time and has in fact been on E! News during the night time and prime time for years before Kennedy joined E!.
Speaking to the press, Berwick told the media that "Jason Kennedy and Catt Sadler had different roles, and therefore different salaries".
"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."
E! News is a prime time show broadcast in the United States during the evening, as well as on NBCUniversal International Networks's E! channel feeds in South Africa, across Africa and the Middle East. In South Africa for instance, any given's day's episode from the United States is shown on MultiChoice's DStv the day after, during prime time – the same "day"-part on the schedule as where it is shown in America.
Sadler has also done a lot of red carpet coverage over the years – not only of award shows happening during the evening but also coverage that was then broadcast live and recorded and played out during prime time.