The BBC pay gap row has been raging for several weeks – and now several male stars have taken a stand.
Jeremy Vine, Nicky Campbell, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson and Huw Edwards have all agreed to pay cuts. Amol Rajan, the BBC’s media editor, said that Humphrys will be reducing his salary by “around £200,000”, taking his salary to between £250,000 and £300,000.
The move comes after China editor Carrie Gracie’s resignation; in an open letter, she accused the BBC of having a “secretive and illegal pay culture” having found out male colleagues were being paid more than her for the same job. BBC colleagues including Clare Balding, Jane Garvey and Victoria Derbyshire have since shown their support for her actions with the hashtag #IStandWithCarrie and their own open letter.
“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,” they wrote.
“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.”
In October of last year, figures revealed that there was a 9% disparity in pay between male and female staff at the BBC.
John Humphrys has also been criticised for comments he made about Gracie to colleague Jon Sopel in a leaked conversation.
“Slight change of subject, the first question will be how much of your salary you are prepared to hand over to Carrie Gracie to keep her, and then a few comments about your other colleagues, you know, like our Middle East editor and the other men who are earning too much,” Humphrys said to Sopel.
“Oh dear God. She’s actually suggested that you should lose money – you know that don’t you? You’ve read the thing properly have you?”
Conservative MP Tracey Crouch has since refused to appear on the Today Programme on Radio 4 because of the comments.