This network has just defended its decision to pay men more than women

And the internet is not happy.

catt sadler
(Image credit: Rex)

And the internet is not happy.

Sunday saw the 2018 Golden Globes take place in Los Angeles, with those in attendance using this year’s event as a platform for political protest.

In light of the wave of sexual harassment and assault allegations to hit Hollywood in recent months, A-list actresses used their red carpet appearances at the Globes to unite and send a clear message, wearing black to protest the mistreatment of women and donning a #TIMESUP pin to call for gender equality.

But it wasn’t a silent protest, with A-list women using their time on the red carpet to call out the problem, with some very famous faces taking their moment to throw shade at the E! network's gender pay their interviews with E!.

Their jibes were referencing former E! host, Catt Sadler who recently quit the network after working their for 12 years, upon learning that her co-host Jason Kennedy was earning almost double her salary.

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‘An executive from E! brought something alarming to my attention - namely, that there was a massive disparity in pay between my similarly situated male co-host and myself,' Sadler announced on her blog, The Catt Walk. 'More recently, when E! reached out to renew and extend my deal, I learned that he wasn’t just making a little more than I was. In fact, he was making close to double my salary for the past several years.'

Urging women to know the value of their worth, Catt Sadler quit, explaining: '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 hero and stand for what is right no matter what the cost?’

Taking the network by surprise, A-list women took the Golden Globes as their chance to show their support for Catt, most notably Debra Messing and Eva Longoria.

debra messing golden globes

(Image credit: Rex)

When asked live on the red carpet in an interview with E! why she had chosen to wear black, Debra Messing replied, ‘I am wearing black to thank and honour all of the brave whistleblowers who came forward to share their stories of harassment and assault and discrimination.’

Then choosing her moment to address the issue live on air, she continued: ‘I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts’, before announcing ‘I miss Catt Sadler and so we stand with her’.

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And Eva Longoria couldn’t resist a jibe either - while flanked by A-list friends and Golden Globe award winners Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in an E! interview with Ryan Seacrest, the 42-year-old Desperate Housewives star brought up the issue, stating: 'We support gender equity and equal pay and we hope that E! follows that lead with Catt as well.’

After considerable pressure, E! has addressed the pay disparity controversy - but people aren't happy with their explanation.

Calling out 'misinformation', E! Executive Frances Berwick excused the wage disparity as being down to the co-hosts having different roles - strange then that they were called 'co-hosts'.

'Catt Sadler and Jason Kennedy had different roles and therefore different salaries,' the E! exec explained at the Television Critics Association's Winter Press Tour this week. 'Our employee’s salaries are based on their roles and expertise, not their gender. We wish Catt well so I hope that sort of sets the record straight on that.'


Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.