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'It Makes You Feel Very Small.' Catt Sadler Is Leaving E! After Discovering Massive Gender Pay Gap

Catt Sadler with her former E! News co-host Jason Kennedy in November 2017. Paul Archuleta—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Catt Sadler, the host of E! News, has left her job, she said, after learning that her male co-host Jason Kennedy earned “close to double” her salary for several years. Sadler’s requests to renegotiate her salary were rebuffed by the network.

Sadler, a single mother of two, had been at E! for almost 12 years, and hosted Daily Pop as well as E! News. She told People the decision to leave her “dream job” required “a lot of soul-searching,” but that she felt she had no option but to leave.

In a statement on her website explaining her departure, Sadler explained that towards the end of this year her contract was coming to an end, and both she and the network’s executives wanted to extend her deal.

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But, she wrote, “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.”

E! executives refused her request, in the negotiations for her new contract, that she be compensated as much as Kennedy. “My decision was made for me and I must go,” she wrote.

“Information is power,” she continued. “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,” she wrote. “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?”

“It’s almost insulting because you know you work really hard,” she told People. “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.”

In a statement to People, an E! spokesperson said: “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.”

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