Jemele Hill revealed her former employer, ESPN, paid her $200,000 less than her male co-host during her time at the sports cable news network. Hill made the revelation during an appearance on REVOLT TV’s “Assets Over Liabilities” on May 25.
Hill joined the network in 2006, and worked as a columnist before eventually becoming a co-host in 2017, on “SportsCenter” with Michael Smith. The journalist revealed her salary was significantly less than Smith’s, despite the fact that they had the same position.
“I was making $200,000 less than him even though we were doing the same job,” said Hill, adding that she was undervalued from the start by ESPN. She said she was only offered a two-year deal as a contractor when she first began with the network, meaning she had no benefits. Hill reportedly was paid $120,000 for her first year at ESPN.
“My first year was $120,000, but that’s as an independent contractor, so that means I had to pay my own taxes and no health insurance. The lesson that I learned, you can’t sell out for a name,” she added.
Hill was reprimanded by the company in 2017, after she posted a tweet that noted former President Donald Trump’s status as a white supremacist. She was suspended for two weeks.
“I considered it ‘telling the truth,’ which is a core principle in journalism,” she said of her social media post. “We’re supposed to be truth-tellers on top of being storytellers, and we’re also supposed to hold those in power accountable.”
While the journalist gave the network credit for honing her skills and teaching her about the business side of journalism, she quit the network in 2018. Hill currently writes for The Atlantic and has also written a new book, “Uphill: A Memoir.” She also has a deal with CNN+ and a podcast on Spotify.
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