Almost 12 years after starting at E! News, Catt Sadler has decided to leave the network, even though it breaks her heart. Sadler said her choice required "a lot of soul-searching", which made many wonder what exactly prompted the exit.
"Up until this point, I mean it really has been a dream job. Literally a dream job. I'm from Indiana, born and raised, and I had my sights set on E! and I've seen the world. I've had the best experiences. I've gotten incredibly close with all of my coworkers. It's like a family here and it's been beautiful for the majority of my run. I pinch myself every day the job that I get to do. I have so much fun. It has almost been surreal," Sadler said. "But then, this year happened."
Sadler said she felt as though she was really pushing herself this year and trying to move forward.
"I inherited a lot more responsibility and more work hours and what not," the single mom of two said.
Sadler's contract was up at the end of this year, and the network expressed full interest in extending her deal. However, when she found out about her co-star, Sadler knew her run at E! was over.
As Sadler was set to go into her negotiations, she says she was "informed and made aware that my male equivalent [co-star Jason Kennedy] at the network who I started with the same year and have come up with doing essentially similar jobs, if not the same job, wasn't just making a little bit more than me but was making double my salary and has been for several years."
"It's almost insulting because you know you work really hard," Sadler admits. "I'm a single mom of two kids. I've given my all to this network. I've sacrificed time away from my family and I have dedicated my entire career to this network. And when you learn something like that, it makes you feel very small and underappreciated and undervalued. It's heartbreaking."
But despite her hard feelings towards the network, Sadler says it doesn't change her opinion on Kennedy.
"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," she shares. "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."
Sadler says she had a responsibility to be an "agent of change", and that staying and doing the easy thing would have been a disservice to every female in the world.
E! was brief in their statement on the topic, saying only:
"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."