Catt Sadler was one of the most recognizable E! News hosts, having been with the network for nearly 12 years. So as you can imagine, people were taken aback when she announced that she was leaving her position.
Sadler, who was on the brink of renewing her contract, said that the decision was tough and required "a lot of soul-searching," but it was the right one to make.
"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," Sadler said in a statement. "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. But then, this year happened."
Turns out, while she and the executives were in the midst of negotiating her deal, 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."
Sadler admitted that it is "insulting" and "heartbreaking" that after all that she has done for the network, she was still "underappreciated and undervalued."
In response to Sadler's departure, E! released a brief and statement saying, "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."
The network refused to offer further comments on the matter, until now.
At the 2018 Golden Globes, which took place on January 8th, a few actresses, including Debra Messing, Eva Longoria and Sarah Jessica Parker, called out the network for pay disparity during their red carpet interviews with E! hosts Giuliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest.
"I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn't believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts," said Messing. "I miss Catt Sadler, and so we stand with her. And that's something that can change tomorrow. We want people to start having this conversation that women are just as valuable as men."
Longoria later said, "We support gender equity and equal pay, and we hope that E! follows that lead with Cat as well. We stand with you, Cat."
It seems like all these women standing up for Sadler has made an impact on E! because the network's chief, Frances Berwick, finally spoke out about the issue.
Berwick told reporters at the Television Critics Association's press tour that there has been "a lot of misinformation" surrounding the network's pay disparity scandal, and proceeded to defend their decision.
"Catt Sadler and Jason Kennedy had different roles and therefore different salaries," Berwick explained. "Catt was focused on daytime. Jason Kennedy is on primetime evening news, plus red carpet. Our employee's salaries are based on their roles and their expertise regardless of gender. We wish Catt well, but I hope that sets the record straight on that."
It doesn't appear like the network will be making amends with Sadler anytime soon, but the former host is happy to be an overall "agent of change," and is "immensely grateful for the outpouring support" she has received from her fellow women, including everyone who stood up for her on the red carpet.
What do you think of E!'s side of the story?