These past few months have not been a good look for E!. In December, longtime E! News anchor Catt Sadler announced she was leaving the network after finding out her male co-anchor made double what she did. Just this week, Ryan Seacrest’s former stylist publicly accused him of sexually harassing her for years — and yet, E! still has plans for him to represent the network on the red carpet at the Oscars this weekend. (Though many celebrities’ publicists have already announced their plans to tell their clients to avoid him as a result of the allegations.)
Now, one former E! producer is accusing the network of firing her for allowing a clip of Eva Longoria voicing her support for Catt Sadler to be aired during E!‘s 2018 Golden Globes broadcast. As the New York Times reports, Aileen Gram-Moreno, who had been with E! since its beginning in 1990 and had worked as a producer on its red carpet shows for the last 12 years, says that during the broadcast, she was instructed by her boss to flag any red carpet interviews at the Golden Globes that made any kind of mention of #MeToo, Time’s Up or Catt Sadler before they aired.
Since most of E!‘s red carpet interviews happen simultaneously, they are often prerecorded and broadcast (or not) later on in the evening. According to Gram-Moreno’s account, the network became concerned that more celebrities would mention Sadler after Debra Messing was critical of E! during a live interview with Giuliana Rancic — and she was told to vet every single interview, making sure not to include any mentions of Sadler that could be critical of E!.
“They said, if there’s any mention of Catt in the preshow, make sure you flag it,” Gram-Moreno told the Times. “You’re censoring celebrities; it’s just not a good idea in my humble opinion. But it wasn’t my decision.”
So when Gram-Moreno accidentally let a clip of Eva Longoria saying, “We stand with you, Catt,” slip by and air on the broadcast, the network was less than thrilled. Though she says she texted her boss to apologize, and her boss told her it couldn’t have been avoided, Gram-Moreno says an executive producer called her several days later to fire her from the rest of the awards season shows including the SAG awards, Grammys and Oscars. Hmm.
In a statement to Us Weekly, E!‘s president Adam Stotsky responded to Gram-Moreno’s claims. “We don’t agree with Debra Messing’s assertion. We’re not in the business of being a megaphone for an inaccurate story.” Stotsky also claims that Gram-Moreno was fired following a “pattern of poor performance” (despite being given a raise for her performance on the job five years ago), and that she wasn’t technically “fired” because she was a freelancer with the network.
Gram-Moreno says she requested multiple financial settlements from the company before filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that she was not only unfairly fired, but also allegedly replaced by a male producer who was given a higher title. Yikes.