An E! executive is defending the network's decision to pay former host Catt Sadler much less than her male counterpart, Jason Kennedy.
Frances Berwick, and NBC executive who oversees E!, not only acknowledged the wage gap, but said it was appropriate given their jobs.
In speaking to TV critics, she said, "There is a lot of misinformation out there. Catt Sadler and Jason Kennedy had different roles and therefore different salaries. Catt was focused on daytime. Jason Kennedy is on prime, evening news, plus red carpet."
"Our employees' salaries are based on their roles and their expertise, regardless of gender," Frances said, according to TMZ. "So we wish Catt well, but I hope that sets the record straight on that."
Catt quit E! in late December after learning that Jason earned nearly double her salary.
"I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn't believe in paying their female co-hosts as their male co-hosts," Debra Messing said while speaking to E!'s Giuliana Rancic live on the carpet. "I miss Catt Sadler. So we stand with her. That's something that can change tomorrow, you know. We want people to start having this conversation that women are just as valuable as men."
Eva Longoria also spoke live to E!, saying, "With Time's Up, we support gender equity and equal pay, and we hope E! follows that lead with Catt as well. We stand with you Catt."
Laura Dern told E!, "We need the powers that be, and all the industries and all the networks, including E!, to help us with closing this pay gender gap."
Sarah Jessica Parker didn't mention Catt by name, but she referenced her while speaking to Ryan Seacrest about workplace equality.
"I know it's affected your network," she said. "I know that there have been conversations that have been challenging for all of us, but I think it's incredibly timely. It's exciting. And parity and equality and safe work environments, they shouldn't be controversial."
On Dec. 19, Catt announced on her blog that she was leaving E! in a blog post.
"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 wrote. "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."