Sadler, 43, had been working in her "dream job" at E! for almost 12 years. It was a shock to viewers to hear she'd be leaving, and she detailed her reasons why in a website post called "WHY I LEFT E ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION." Essentially, someone on the inside told her that her E! News co-host Jason Kennedy 36, had been getting paid a lot more than her for years. When she asked to be paid the same -- or even close -- she was denied.
Here's part of her story on TheCattWalk.com:
"...Then, this year happened. Daily Pop was born. I was named host which meant double duty. Hosting a live, two-hour daytime show while also hosting E News most nights. It was creatively challenging but genuinely one of the most fulfilling years of my professional career. Coincidentally, around this same time 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. 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.
Information is power. Or it should be. We are living in a new era. The gender pay gap is shrinking, although admittedly we have a long way to go. And well, I learned this first hand. My team and I asked for what I know I deserve and were denied repeatedly.
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. 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?..."
There's more. Read it on her site.
Fans were left saddened and confused. Why would E! value Kennedy so much more? Do they have access to some data that suggests fans are watching more for him than for her? Doesn't seem that way looking at the social media reaction to Sadler's departure. Good for Kennedy's agents for booking a better deal, but when Sadler stepped forward, why didn't E! rise to meet her? She has a lot of backing out there -- and apparently one of her supporters is Jason Kennedy himself.
Sadler told People this is not Kennedy's fault:
"Jason Kennedy is one of my best friends in the whole wide world. He is like a brother to me. And in no way do I want this to reflect poorly on him. He's devastated, I think, and I think he believes that this is a great loss for the network. He does not want to see me go. Jason is a class act ... It's important that people don't vilify him because he isn't the problem — the system's the problem, the structure's the problem. And I really do mean that. Because that's been a hard part of this whole thing because I love him dearly. And to be honest, he has been such a champion for me in every sense. But it's not his decision."
E! has been sharing a statement with outlets, including People and Us Weekly:
"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."
They'd clearly prefer this stayed an in-house matter instead of being splashed around. And there are always at least two sides to every story. Now that Catt has been able to share her story, and she's received a lot of support, here's hoping she bounces back with an even better gig.
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