Piers Morgan has responded to TV’s gender pay gap issue – and, yes, his comments are every bit as frustrating you might expect.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that only a third of the BBC’s top earners are women – and that its highest-paid male star, Chris Evans, earned a whopping £2.2 million last year, while the highest-paid woman, Claudia Winkleman, made £450,000.
It was a shockingly huge disparity, there’s no doubt about it. And yet, sadly, the news was not all that surprising: in the UK alone, the gender pay gap is currently at 18.1% – the lowest on record.
Shortly after the list was published, Barbara Speed, a journalist at iNewspaper tweeted to her followers: “Thing is though, for all this chat and judgement who would just openly tweet their salary right now? Go on, I dare you.”
Morgan responded by claiming he earns whopping £22.5 million a year – a figure which, if accurate, is 10 times that of Evans.
And, while the Good Morning Britain presenter has no idea if he’s being paid more than his co-host, Susanna Reid, for doing the exact same job, Morgan has now said that it doesn’t matter either way.
“They pay me what I’m worth,” he tells ES Magazine. “A lot.”
Morgan continues: “I have no idea what [Susanna] is paid. I don’t think it would matter to her, even if she found that I was being paid more, because she, I think, would be the first to accept that I’ve slightly redone the wheel here.
“I bring a completely different kind of feel.”
We assume that Morgan is, here, referring to the fact that GMB’s audience has risen by 24% since he joined the show, regularly peaking with one million viewers. However, there’s no denying that a lot of this is due to women tuning in to see Reid shutting down Morgan’s vitriolic bulls**t, whether that be defending older mums from his ageist twaddle, shutting down his body-shaming opinions or annihilating his laughable sexist arguments.
Throwing his talented co-host the smallest of bones, Morgan added: “I think she’s brilliant, worth every penny ITV gives her…
“But I don’t know what that is.”
A new study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found that while the wage gap between men and women has been gradually falling over the past two decades, women are still paid, on average, around 18% less per hour than men.
An even bigger gulf begins to open up between what men and women are paid once women reach their late twenties and early thirties.
Men – particularly highly-educated men – tend to enjoy a rapid growth in their pay at this point in their lives. But women, in contrast, see their wages plateau.
So how can we go about changing this statistic? Well, it takes a lot of perseverance and willingness to speak up, of course. And, ideally, it takes the men involved to acknowledge the need for parity, and work to do something about it – something which Morgan has absolutely has failed to do.
Images: Rex Features