With the BBC pay gap dominating todays headlines, it feels wrong to write about anything else.
A quick glance over today Newspaper Headlines shows me just how much people are outraged not only over the substantial pay cheques BBC stars receive but the substantial gap between Male and Female pay. The one question that comes to mind…. Is anyone actually surprised by these revelations?
Did anyone seriously believe these people would be earning a modest pay cheque for their work? It’s been known for a long time how much people like Gary Lineker are on, so this “Confirmation” should come as no surprise. The gender inequality is genuinely alarming and certainly raises a few questions, but again, was anyone actually surprised that a company dominated by White Males pays White Males more than anyone else. I seriously doubt it for anyone with their heads screwed on properly.
It needs to be sorted out, yes, but I’ve seen plenty people on social media hit out at the top male earners as if they’re single-handedly responsible for the size of their cheques. People seem to be taking the moral high ground by suggesting they’re all selfish pricks for accepting so much money while nurses and firefighters scrape by on tiny pay. Do people not understand that the two issues are separate and one has no effect on the other? Yes, it’s unfair, but if you sit down on an evening and watch TV then you are directly supporting the system that allows them to be paid so much. Stars earn massive sums of money because stars generate massive sums of money. If it wasn’t spent on them it would be spent in another wasteful way, that’s unfortunately how it works. The BBC isn’t there to make the world a fairer place, they’re given money to make entertainment and that’s exactly what there trying to do.
I’ll try not to defend the BBC on the matter of pay disparity, though I can imagine the pay gap being much larger in companies like Sky or ITV. I’m certain the pay gap has reduced over recent years, so people need to realise that social inequality is something that breaks down over time and can’t be instantly resolved with an angry rant on twitter or Facebook. People have a right to be annoyed, it just seems like people these days’ pounce on anything in an attempt to vent built up anger.
So, I’ll ask the question again, is anyone actually surprised? To me, it just highlights an issue that has been around for years, and although public pressure will push through gradual change, it will be a long time until we can say the pay structure is fair. The world is full of inequalities, this is just another one to sink our teeth into.