The BBC Salaries Reveal the Skewed Priorities of Entertainment


Even in progressive England the government run entities can’t get salary disparity under control.


Over in Great Britain there has been much tittering over scones with the reveal of salaries being paid to the top entertainers in various fields. While there is material rife for gossiping, what is also revealed is how the social inequities so often addressed by pompous celebrities are in full effect with those same lecturing luminaries.



The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a massive broadcasting conglomerate that is also under government purview. The comparable for us in the States would be our Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and National Public Radio (NPR), rolled together and expanded into the largest broadcaster on the planet. As a result of the public funding aspect the British government required the organization disclose salaries of  its various on-air talent.

While much of the information is arcane, involving stars and programs unfamiliar to most in the U.S., the structuring is interesting all the same. The actual dollar (Pounds Sterling) figures are not the focus, but the salary structure is emblematic of a systemic “problem”. (Problem, in that we are told frequently of compensation oppression.) Two entities are in play who frequently pontificate on the salary inequities in the private business sector; the entertainment complex, and the government.

The figures showed that just under a third of the media giant’s top paid executives, managers and media stars are women. Only two women — the hosts Claudia Winkleman and Alex Jones — are among the top 14 on-air earners at the British public broadcaster.   BBC director general Tony Hall defended its pay practices, saying his goal is to achieve equality on the screen and on the radio by 2020. “Over the last three years, of the new people we’ve either promoted or put on our screen or radios, 63% were women — is this progress enough? Absolutely not,” he said in an interview with the BBC.



Now the salaries themselves cannot translate as representative of Hollywood. This is because most British entertainment is produced by one of the BBC networks, and as such has unique governmental budgetary limits, so their figures are not applicable. In the US most TV programming is funded by the networks, or independent production outfits – in either case, private companies. Yet other parallels can be drawn.


Of the BBC Salaries the highest paid talent was radio DJ and TV show host Chris Evans, at over 2 million pounds annually. The highest paid female made less than one half of a million. Of the high-priced talent there are twenty four listed who earned over three hundred thousand; of those only seven were women.


The industry that loves to trot celebrities to lecture on the travesty of female pay disparity continues to pay women significantly less. This being the BBC means governmental entities, which love to demand the private sector adhere to salary standards, and pass laws to enforce such, also cannot seem to abide their own quality measures.


Of additional note; in that list of two dozen celebrities earning 300k or more, the amount of those who are Black, Asian, or other “Minority Ethnic” totals out to be — zero. And these are the government-run progressives who love to tell us how to comport ourselves in business matters. Those who degrade and demean business owners as hateful racist, exclusionary, avarice-driven oppressives cannot themselves act to their own standards.



Just something to bear in mind any time the left-wing set here in the States declare we should be more like our European allies.


As if this skewed salary framework is not flawed enough, Parliament is entertaining injecting more mayhem into the formula. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labor Party leader, has previously proposed the idea that upper-level salaries of public sector workers should be capped at a rate not exceeding 20 times that of the lowest salaried worker within the same company. Corbyn has stated that this plan should also apply to The BBC. The minimum salary in the BBC is set at 16,000p. This means the current high earners would have salaries slashed by 50-80%, to appease a few social justice economists.


These type of socialist economic ideals frequently ignore practical applications. It may seem noble to some to put a limit on the elite in a salary structure, but it displays a static ignorance on how the networks operate. The reason on air talent gets paid these premium salaries is they have demonstrated a value in the arena of ratings and revenue. Applying governmental experiments on this system will only lead to an artificially manipulated structure, and a corrupted product.


Yes, a janitor working the overnight shift is doing needed work. However to suggest the earning power of those celebrities who attract the large audiences — and as a result the larger advertising revenue — should be curtailed, due to a sense of fairness to the guy replacing urinal cakes, is the stuff of madness. The BBC may have to soon contend with that very economic dilemma.



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