“I think it needs to be sorted out, and I support my female colleagues who have rightly said they should be paid the same when they’re doing the same job,” Vine said. While the BBC didn’t announce the size of the cuts, they likely won’t leave the employees scraping by. Vine earned earned as much as £750,000 ($1.1 million) last year at the BBC, which is primarily funded by the licenses UK residents have to buy in order to legally operate a television.
Vine’s on-the-record cheerfulness about his salary reduction comes after another of the male presenters, John Humphrys, was recorded complaining about the proposal. He would not comment on reports that his £600,000 ($855,000) salary was halved, but told reporters he was now earning “hugely less” than he was.
While the cuts may bring salaries at the BBC slightly closer in line than they had been, finding well-paid employees willing (or at least claiming to be willing) to hand over their pay is not a viable strategy for comprehensive pay reform. An internal review of pay practices at the BBC in July revealed gender disparities in pay across the organization, with women being paid, on average, 9.3% less than men. The BBC will release an independent audit on pay disparity next week. It still has a long way to go before the equality Gracie seeks is realized.