Following claims of misconduct against “E! News” host Ryan Seacrest, E! continues to face backlash ahead of this Sunday’s Oscars.
According to The New York Times, former E! producer Aileen Gram-Moreno alleges she was let go from the network after airing an interview of Eva Longoria voicing her support for Catt Sadler at the 2018 Golden Globes.
Sadler worked as a co-anchor for “E! News” and resigned back in December 2017 after learning her male co-host was earning “close to double” her salary.
While Gram-Moreno recalls being instructed to flag any mention of Sadler in the Golden Globes pre-show, the producer says, “You’re censoring celebrities; it’s just not a good idea in my humble opinion. But it wasn’t my decision.”
On Thursday, Gram-Moreno filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she alleged she was wrongfully terminated and unable to vet the remarks due to the “number of prerecorded interviews.”
Addressing the filing, Sarah Goldstein, a spokeswoman for E! says, “For the past decade Aileen Gram-Moreno was a freelancer who worked an average of 20 days per year solely for our red-carpet coverage.”
Goldstein adds, “After the Golden Globes, she was asked not to return due to job performance issues. Ms. Gram-Moreno filed her legal claim after her request for financial settlement was turned down.”
Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that Gram-Moreno’s lawyer, Katherine Atkinson, says that Gram-Moreno “received a performance-based raise five years ago” and was “replaced with a male producer who was given a higher title.”
Following news of Gram-Moreno’s complaint, Sadler herself weighed in. “It’s disappointing that any network would order the censorship of opinions,” she told Variety. “But it’s particularly disturbing in this case because we are at a cultural tipping point where women feel more and more comfortable being vocal about issues like pay equality and sexual misconduct. To shut down those conversations is to stifle progress.”