BBC presenter Carrie Gracie has revealed that she has been overwhelmed by support after quitting the corporation in protest over unequal pay. Outrage over the gender pay gap has sparked the hashtag #IstandwithCarrie with many correspondents, presenters and writers hailing Ms Gracie as “brave” and “principled”.
Gracie resigned her job as BBC’s China Editor over unfair salary that is believed to be caused by gender segregation. She went ahead with a scheduled appearance as presenter of the BBC’s Today programme on Radio 4 this morning.
On the show, she was interviewed by presenter John Humphrys, whose £600,000-a-year salary is at least four times Gracie’s.
She said: “The support that I’ve had in the last few hours over this … does speak to the depth of hunger for an equal, fair and transparent pay system.”
“What is lovely for me is that people are mentioning my China work, because I would not wish to be remembered for ever as the woman who complained about money.”
Gracie added: “I want to be remembered as the person who did some fine China work, and enough people are saying that for me to feel that that will not get buried as a result of all this.”
Mariella Frostrup, who was also on the show told Humphrys: “I probably earn a tenth of what you do, John”
However Humphrys, was greatly criticised for the interview.
BBC Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet, BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Sarah Montague, and Jane Garvey of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour all described described Ms Gracie as “brave and brilliant”.
Ms Montague added: “Not sure what is so hard to understand about #equalpay for equal work.”
Kirsty Wark described Ms Gracie as “an outstanding and principled journalist”. She added that she was proud to stand with her”.
BBC World News America anchor Laura Trevelyan wrote: “It took guts for Carrie Gracie to do this, drawing attention to unequal pay in the BBC. She’s the best of the best.”
Breakfast host Naga Munchetty said Ms Gracie was “a woman I already greatly admired – now even more so” while reporter Alpa Patel said she is “brilliant, relentless, one of our best”.
Sports presenter Gaby Logan also tweeted: “There is nothing more clear cut than Carrie’s request. Equal pay for equal work.”
Senior journalist’s from rival broadcasters also backed Ms Gracie, including Channel 4 News International Editor Lindsey Hilsum, who tweeted: “It seems the BBC does not value @BBCCarrie – its fluent Chinese speaking China Editor, a renowned authority as well as a great journalist – bcs it won’t pay her the same as a man.
ITV’s Penny Marshall noted: “BBC China editor Carrie Gracie quits in equal pay row. This issue will not and should not go away. #EqualPay.”
Male broadcasters also suggested that the BBC pay revelations had created an uncomfortable situation. Paul Mason, who previously worked on Newsnight and Channel 4 News, tweeted: “As a former union rep at the BBC I say: solidarity to @BBCCarrie – tip of the iceberg.”