Six male presenters at the BBC are accepting pay cuts after income disparity among male and female staffers at the organization has come under the public spotlight.
“We are very grateful to Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson and Jeremy Vine, who have agreed that their pay will now be reduced,” the BBC said in a statement today. “These are great journalists and presenters, who have a real connection with the audience. We are proud to have them working at the BBC.
The pubcaster said that, while details were still being discussed, “there are further conversations that the BBC will have with others in due course.”
Earlier this month, Carrie Gracie, the BBC’s China Editor, resigned over the pay gap, prompting the UK’s Culture Secretary Matt Hancock to call for the BBC to act on the issue. “As a treasured national institution, the BBC must not only uphold but be a beacon for the British values of fairness that this nation holds dear and this includes fair pay and equal pay for jobs,” Hancock said.
According to a BBC News report today, one of the male presenters – John Humphrys – “said he would be earning ‘hugely less’ than the £600,000 he was.”
Last July, the BBC revealed that two-thirds of its on-air talent earning more than £150,000 were male, including the top seven earners.
That news was met by more than 40 high-profile female BBC employees, including Katty Kay, Emily Maitlis and Alex Jones, signing an open letter to urge an end to the pay gap.
Asked about the pay downgrade, presenter Jeremy Vine told reporters, “I think it needs to be sorted out and I support my female colleagues who have rightly said they should be paid the same when they’re doing the same job,” according to BBC News. “It’s just a no-brainer, so it wasn’t a problem for me to accept one [a pay cut].”
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