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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Humphrys and Sopel Appear to Mock BBC Gender Pay Gap

An embarrassing audio recording has been leaked by a BBC insider, which appears to show two of the Corporation's leading male journalists mocking a female colleague for making a stand against gender pay inequality.

Last week Carrie Gracie, a BBC journalist for more than 30 years, stepped down from her role as China Editor when it came to light that male colleagues in comparable positions were paid up to 50 percent more. We decided not to report Gracie's departure as China Editor because she will be moving to alternative employment in the BBC Newsroom.

An off-air recording has emerged of John Humphrys and Jon Sopel apparently mocking Gracie for suggesting that male talent, like themselves, should take a cut in salary in order to achieve parity with their female counterparts. Sopel is the BBC's North America Editor - a role comparable to that previously held by Gracie.

According to figures released by the BBC, Humphrys earns between £600,000 and £649,999 and Sopel earns between £200,000 and £249,999. Gracie, a fluent Mandarin speaker, received a salary of £135,000 in her role as China Editor.

A transcript of the exchange appears below:
John Humphrys (JH): Ah, can you hear me Sopel?

Jon Sopel (JS): Humphrys, I can hear you.

JH: Slight change of subject. The first question will be 'how much of your salary are you prepared to hand over to Carrie Gracie to keep her?', then a few comments about your other colleagues, you know, like our Middle East Editor and the other men who are earning too much...

JS: I mean obviously if we are talking about the scope for the greatest redistribution, I'll have to come back and say, 'Well yes Mr Humphrys, but...'

JH: And I could save you the trouble as I could volunteer that I've handed over already more than you fucking earn. But I'm still left with more than anybody else, and that seems to me entirely just. Something like that.

JS: Don't.

JH: 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?

JS: Yeah I have, yeah.

JH: The idea is I'm not allowed to talk to her about it throughout the whole course of the programme. Not a word.

JS: I mean... can we have this conversation... I'd love to talk to you about it.

JH: Probably not now, yeah right. So as far as Trump's concerned, what's the top line?
The pair had previously claimed that their comments were lighthearted banter, but the inflexion of their voices reveals quite a different story. Humphrys claims the recording was leaked by a "nasty person" with a grudge against him.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "This was an ill-advised off-air conversation which the presenter regrets."

She added: "The BBC is committed to getting its pay structures right and, as we have said, we are conducting a comprehensive analysis of presenter pay."

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1 comment:

Fred Bear said...

As the bible says:

"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows"

In plain words:

the BBC has become a greedy organisation and is heading straight for the rocks.