On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter revealed Catt Sadler is hosting Vanity Fair's Oscar party. In similar fashion to what the publication did in 2017, Sadler is joining Vanity Fair's executive digital director Mike Hogan to co-host a live broadcast of the very famous annual party that will occur after the Academy Awards conclude on Sunday, March 4. THR describes the gig as a "custom-built red carpet studio", which sounds right up Sadler's alley.
Both Sadler and Hogan will provide commentary and interview stars attending the party. This is the first time Sadler will return to TV hosting a red carpet, which she did multiple times when she worked with E! News. She seems excited about the opportunity, as she said in a statement, "To co-host Vanity Fair’s afterparty show is an honor, but it will also be deliciously fun! Live, unpredictable, and all the biggest stars in one spot. I can’t wait!"
In December 2017, the 43-year-old broadcast journalist and entertainment TV host made headlines when she announced her departure from E! after 12 years. According to People, in 2017, Sadler's contract was up with the network and E! executives wanted to extend it, but she chose to exit after she said she learned there was a massive pay gap between herself and her E! News co-host, Jason Kennedy.
At the time, Sadler told People that she was "informed and made aware that my male equivalent 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."
She continued, "That was really hard to swallow, but you know information is supposed to be power and when my team began negotiations knowing what we knew, that was the barometer in which I expected to be paid, based on the law and based on what I know to be fair. And what I believe in my heart of hearts is reasonable."
Sadler also made it clear that this wasn't Kennedy's fault and even said she considers him one of her close friends. "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 later told People about him, she told People. "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."
As for Kennedy, he tweeted on Dec. 19, 2017, "I hate goodbyes but I’ll save it for the show tonight, love you so much pal, really going to miss you @IAmCattSadler."
Regarding her pay disparity claims, an E! spokesperson told Bustle:
"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."
Also during the Television Critics Association's bi-annual press tour in January, E! chief Frances Berwick told reporters about Sadler's exit, "There is a lot of misinformation out there." He continued, "Catt Sadler and Jason Kennedy had different roles and therefore different salaries. 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."
Whatever the case, Sadler has ignited a conversation about not only E!'s equal pay practice, but how the wage gap continues to exist between men and women. She stood up for herself and what she thought was right, in addition to becoming an inspiration for other women facing similar issues.
Even celebrities have spoken up on her behalf, including Debra Messing, who called out E! for equal pay on the network's 2018 Golden Globes red carpet. "I was so shocked to hear the E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts," Messing told E!'s Giuliana Rancic before adding, "I miss Catt Sadler. 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."
And now look at her. Sadler has scored another hosting opportunity (she also appeared on The View as a guest host on Wednesday, Feb. 14.), and, well, it's wonderful. Despite what she's faced, it's clear she isn't giving up on her career or going to quit doing what she loves anytime soon. It'll be good to watch Sadler doing what she does so well.
People can watch Sadler get back to her hosting roots either by logging onto Twitter or visiting VF.com on Sunday, March 4 after the Oscars come to a close.