Former co-host of E! News, Catt Sadler, says her motivation to say so long to the E! Network is due to a large pay gap compared to a male co-host.
Sadler, 43, who co-anchored the program with Jason Kennedy, 36, also served as co-host for the network's live show Daily Pop.
As she writes on her website, The Catt Walk, hosting both was "creatively challenging but genuinely one of the most fulfilling years of my professional career."
However, that's when she says she discovered a large gap in salaries.
"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," she writes. "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."
E! maintains that its wages are suitable in a statement issued to USA TODAY Wednesday by a network spokesperson. “E! compensates employees fairly and appropriately based on their roles, regardless of gender," the statement reads. "We appreciate Catt Sadler’s many contributions at E! News and wish her all the best following her decision to leave the network.”
Sadler said she and her team asked for what she believes she deserved and were repeatedly told no.
"It was my desire to stay at my job. To continue entertaining our loyal viewers around the world. To keep working alongside some of the best writers, directors, and producers in the game," she says. "Unfortunately, however, my decision was made for me and I must go."
She advises readers to "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," she says. "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?"
Though Sadler does not mention Kennedy in her post, she told People magazine she does not blame him for the disparity in pay.
"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," she says. "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."
Actress Jessica Chastain was swift to criticize the network on Twitter. "WOW this is so disappointing," she tweeted. "When are companies like @e_entertainment going to understand that women should be paid fairly. 1/2 of her male counterpart is not appropriate."
On her website, Sadler was hopeful about her prospects.
"I will find more work. I will create content with meaning. I will continue to pursue my passions while making my children proud. The way I see it, I have an obligation to be an agent for change," she says.
A rep for Sadler did not immediately respond to USA TODAY's request for comment.
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