A female journalist discovered during a live TV debate about misogyny that she was not being paid while a male panel member was, it has been claimed.
During a Sky News debate on the treatment of women in the media Moya Lothian-McLean, a contributing editor at Novara Media, discovered GB News contributor Connor Tomlinson had been paid for his participation but she had not been.
Writing on Twitter, Ms Lothian-Mclean said: “The man who was arguing society isn’t structurally unequal for women was getting paid to appear in a ‘debate’ about misogyny and I wasn’t.”
She later posted that she had been offered £75 but Mr Tomlinson had been offered £200. It is not clear whether Ms Lothian-Mclean was offered the £75 when she was first invited to take part in the programme, or whether the payment was suggested after the show was broadcast and the discrepancy with her male debate partner was brought to light.
She said she would making a £200 donation to Beyond Equality, a charity which campaigns against gender-based stereotypes.
The discussion, which followed offensive sexual comments made by presenter Laurence Fox on GB News about political journalist Ava Evans on Tuesday, became a personal exchange when Ms Lothian-McLean said it was “tiring” to explain sexism as a woman.
She was interrupted by Mr Tomlinson, who said: “‘I’m sorry you’re so exhausted to be paid to go on air.’
“I’m not being paid to go on this interview”, Ms Lothian-Mclean replied.
“I came on because I wanted to talk about the problem of misogyny and the degradation of women in public life.”
She added: “I’m not getting paid for this. Are you getting paid for this?”
Following the interview Ms Lothian-Mclean took to social media to share further details about her involvement with the show.
The real-time, mid-interview realisation that this man is, in fact, being paid when I was not, as I was talking about how tiring it was to constantly have this discussion about misogyny redirected by media figures who deny misogyny even exists pic.twitter.com/ycDRi1UYHK
— Moya Lothian-McLean (@mlothianmclean) September 27, 2023
She said that she had received confirmation Mr Tomlinson was “offered ££ to ask me stupid questions”.
In a separate post she explained she does not ask for fees for ten-minute interviews.
A spokesman for Sky News said: “Sky News has a standard contributors fee for these type of broadcast appearances, with contributors taking part receiving the same amount”.
It is understood that Sky News has apologised to Ms Lothian-McLean, and both contributors will now receive an equal fee.
The incident is the latest development in the growing controversy over the offensive comments made by Fox and Wootton, and the presenters’ subsequent suspension, earlier this week.
Appearing on Wootton’s show on Tuesday night, Fox said: “Who would want to shag that?” about Ms Evans.
Wootton laughed throughout and, according to screenshots posted by Fox to social media on Wednesday, allegedly sent him a series of laughing face emojis after the broadcast.
The exchange sparked outrage and Ofcom launched an investigation after receiving multiple complaints.
During a discussion on Newsnight, broadcaster Adam Boulton said Ofcom should take action to revoke the channel’s licence.
Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, who also spoke on the programme, agreed with Mr Boulton and said the channel should be taken off air.