The public broadcasting network the BBC was ordered by the British government to publicly disclose the salaries of its top stars on Wednesday.
The level of disclosure was set for people earning over £150,000 and reports revealed that, unsurprisingly, male stars earn far more money than their female peers. Chris Evans (not Captain America, the British presenter for radio and television) was the only star to earn a salary in the whopping £2,220,000 to £2,249,999 bracket. The second-highest-paid star, Graham Norton, was reported to be earning between £850,000 and £899,999.
But the woman presenter with the highest salary at the company, Claudia Winkelman, only earns in the £450,000 to £449,999 bracket. Nearly two-thirds of stars earning more than £150,000 are men. BBC Director-General, Lord Tony Hall, probably in anticipation of people getting angry over the wage gap, has already spoken out about the BBC’s dedication to diversity and representation on air. But he also sort of thinks the network is doing just fine and everyone maybe needs to recognize all the hard work he’s done, OK???
“On gender and diversity, the BBC is more diverse than the broadcasting industry and the civil service,” he told the Guardian. “We have set the most stretching targets in the industry for on-air diversity and we’ve made progress, but we recognize there is more to do and we are pushing further and faster than any other broadcaster.” He also said the goal for 2020 is an equal split among women and male presenters, though I’m not sure knows that equal representation isn’t the same as equal compensation.
Thankfully Mishal Husain, a news presenter for BBC, actually had the chance to interview Hall about the pay report and she made it clear to him that hiring more women and then paying them the same as men were different goals.
“We have to manage, as we do, within our means,” Hall says, to which Husain asks if that means men will take a pay cut. But he never quite answers her questions specifically and says figuring it all out will have to be a “case by case” situation.
God, isn’t figuring out that men you work with make way, way more money than you just the best?