Debra Messing uses red carpet moment to attack TV network’s gender pay gap

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Kayleigh Dray
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Debra Messing was one of the first A-list celebrities to be interview on the red carpet at the 75th Golden Globes – and she used every single second of her time on camera to take a stand for womankind.

You might know Debra Messing best as Grace Adler from Will & Grace, but we prefer to think of her as the ballsy activist and feminist she is in real life. Last year, she absolutely annihilated the Trump administration in a powerful (and incredibly funny) speech at the GLAAD Media Awards. And, just a few months later, she added her voice to the growing number of famous women deciding to go public with the sexist, misogynistic and often straight-up abusive experiences they’ve had throughout their careers.

So it comes as little surprise that Messing was the first celebrity at the Golden Globes to turn the atypical “who are you wearing?” red carpet interview on its head.

Speaking to E! host Guiliana Rancic, who was keen to know all about her gown, Messing replied that she was wearing black in solidarity with others against sexual harassment, as part of the #TimesUp movement.

But then, in an unprecedented move, Messing went on to criticise Rancic’s own network.

“Time is up and we want diversity, we want intersectional gender parity, we want equal pay. I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts,” she said.

The Will & Grace star was, of course, referring to the fact that Catt Sadler recently quit the network over pay inequality.

Messing continued: “I miss Catt Sadler, and 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.”

Rancic moved on and did not respond to Messing’s criticism.

Sadler previously revealed that she was leaving E! after finding out that her male co-host made “close to double” her salary.

Writing on her website, she said: “It was important for me to explain my departure… I learned that [Kennedy] 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.

“My team and I asked for what I know I deserve and were denied repeatedly.”

She added that, as a single mother to two children, that quitting was “scary”: however, she felt that it was important for her to take a stand – and vowed that she would “find more work”.

Images: Rex Features


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.