"This is why Debra's a badass," writes one fan.
The "Will & Grace" star was wearing all black as part of the #TimesUp movement. The massive initiative, made up of over 300 actresses, agents and other Hollywood players, calls for "change from women in entertainment for women everywhere."
During her interview with Giuliana Rancic, Messing called out the network for the "massive disparity in pay" Catt Sadler said she earned in comparison to her male co-host, leading to her quitting her job.
"I am wearing black to thank and honor all of the brave whistleblowers who came forward. I'm wearing black to stand in solidarity with my sisters all over the globe, and I'm here to celebrate the roll-out of this incredible initiative, #TimesUp," she explained. "Time is up. We want diversity, we want gender parity, we want equal pay. I was so shocked that E! doesn't believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts. I miss Catt Sadler. We stand with her, and that's something that could change tomorrow. We want people to start having the conversation that women are just as valuable as men."
Rancic handled the criticism well, saying, "That's really what this movement is all about. We have an amazing platform here. There are a lot of big great voices here tonight that can speak out behalf of those who don't have voices."
In an earlier statement, E! defended itself by saying, "E! compensates employees fairly and appropriately based on their roles, regardless of gender. We appreciate Catt Sadler's many contributions at E! News and wish her all the best following her decision to leave the network."
Twitter immediately cheered Messing for her move:
BRAVO to Debra Messing for literally calling out E!'s lack of wage parity ON E! - J #GoldenGlobes— Heather & Jessica (@fuggirls) January 7, 2018
Debra Messing just said on E! that she was sad to hear that E! doesn't pay their female co-hosts the same as their male cohosts. I fucking love this guns blazing awards show, let's do this every time. #GoldenGlobes— Jennifer Wright (@JenAshleyWright) January 7, 2018
Bravo Debra Messing for dragging E! news while appearing on E! news. I think she just set the tone for the night. #GoldenGlobes— Nigel M. Smith (@nigelmfs) January 7, 2018
Lol shout out to Debra messing for telling Guiliana that the network she works for is sexist and enables the pay gap #ERedCarpet— Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker) January 7, 2018
#DEBRAMESSING better call out E Network ON the E Network air. 🤣— Wilson Cruz (@wcruz73) January 7, 2018
When E!'s Giuliana Rancic asked Debra Messing WHY she wore black, Ms. Messing essentially said: in solidarity with female E! anchors who get paid less than men #GoldenGlobes Probably not what Giuliana was expecting.— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) January 7, 2018
Whoa Debra Messing just slammed E! on-air over the Catt Sadler gender-pay gap case— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) January 7, 2018
Debra Messing is dragging E! TO. THEIR. FACES. This night is already H A P P E N I N G. #GoldenGlobes— That's hella tight. (@AlannaBennett) January 7, 2018