Actress Emma Watson didn’t hold back when questioned about Carrie Gracie’s recent resignation from the BBC due to a sexist pay disparity.
Emma Watson has long fought for women’s equality, so it comes as no surprise that, when questioned on the subject, she’s more than ready to deliver her thoughts.
She replied: “By making these commitments public, we need to be holding these organisations accountable […] and I think what has happened tonight with that resignation is a really good example that you’ve got to follow through. You’ve got to back up what you’re saying and it’s important and we will hold you accountable.”
Gracie resigned from her post after discovering her male colleagues were earning significantly more than she was.
Since publishing an open letter accusing the broadcaster of harvesting a “secretive and illegal pay culture”, Gracie has received a wealth of support from women and colleagues including Clare Balding and Victoria Derbyshire who took to Twitter to voice their support using the trending hashtag #IStandWithCarrie, and share their own letter of solidarity with her, saying:
“It is hugely regrettable that an outstanding and award-winning journalist like Carrie Gracie feels she has no option but to resign from her post as China Editor because the BBC has not valued her equally with her male counterparts.
“We wholeheartedly support her and call on the BBC to resolve her case and others without delay, and to urgently address pay inequality across the corporation.
“Up to 200 women that we know of in various pay grades and roles across the BBC have made pay complaints.
“The NUJ alone is involved in more than 120 of these cases.”
Many of Gracie’s female colleagues have criticised the BBC on social media.
“In resigning as BBC’s China Editor in a stand against unequal pay, Carrie tells viewers and listeners, ‘I believe you have a right to know that the BBC is breaking equality law’,” Victoria Derbyshire wrote on Twitter.
“Carrie Gracie’s stand is important. It’s about respect as well as reward. We don’t want future female broadcasters, journalists, reporters, commentators, editors and producers to have to fight for the right to be paid equally for doing the same job,” Clare Balding tweeted.
MPs have also been voicing their support on social media.
“Here’s my suggestion. I’ll pay 50% less of my licence fee. I love and would die in ditch for the BBC but this isn’t the gender pay gap even, this is equal pay issue and it’s illegal to pay her less than men doing equivalent work. SORT IT OUT,” wrote Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley.
“What a brave lady she is. Absolutely no way any woman under any circumstances should be paid less than any man for doing the same job,” wrote Nadine Dorries, a Conservative MP.
“Fairness in pay is vital. A significant number of organisations have now published their gender pay figures showing that we are performing considerably better than many and are well below the national average,” a BBC spokesman said in response to the ongoing dispute.
“Alongside that, we have already conducted an independent judge-led audit of pay for rank and file staff which showed ‘no systemic discrimination against women’.
“A separate report for on-air staff will be published in the not too distant future.”
Gracie said she would return to the TV newsroom “where I expect to be paid equally”.
Images: Rex Features