Lisa Wilkinson scolded over ‘pay parity’ claims in unearthed footage from the 2018 Logies
An unearthed video of comedian Dave Hughes roasting Lisa Wilkinson about her pay inequality claims at the 2018 Logies has been unearthed just days before her stellar autobiography, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like, is released.
In her book, the 61-year-old makes a series of claims about her former co-host Karl Stefanovic, and how she left Channel Nine over a reported dispute over the gender pay gap.
At the awards ceremony, Hughes joked that Lisa made “double” than her co-hosts on The Project after moving to Channel 10.
Clumsy: Lisa Wilkinson (pictured at the 2018 Logies alongside Waleed Aly, right) took center stage in a pay equality joke in a speech by comedian Dave Hughes – where he claimed she earned ‘double’ than her co-hosts on The Project
In his opening speech, Hughes addressed Wilkinson head-on as she sat with her Channel 10 colleagues – while her former Today show co-host Stefanovic, 47, sat at another table nearby.
“You left for a raise. I know you didn’t get paid, did you, Lisa? No,’ he said.
‘…And you don’t get paid at The Project either. Now you deserve double!’ he added as she sat next to her co-host Waleed Aly.
“You left for a raise. I know you didn’t get paid, did you, Lisa? No,” said Hughes. ‘…And you don’t get paid at The Project either. Now you deserve double!’
All smiles: As the audience gasped, Lisa gave the camera an awkward thumbs up
As the audience gasped, Lisa gave the camera an awkward thumbs up.
He ended the joke: ‘Don’t blame me for that joke. Give it to Carrie [Bickmore, Wilkinson’s other co-host] and Waleed!’
The awkward giggles from the table may well have suggested there were deeper tensions over The Project’s payment, though they didn’t comment on the joke at the time.
In August 2020, Network 10 declined to comment on rumors that Lisa earns between $1 million and $2.3 million a year when approached by Daily Mail Australia.
The amount would dwarf the package of her co-hosts, including Bickmore and Aly.
Close by: Lisa’s former Today co-host Karl Stefanovic sat at a nearby table during the event
In 2015, Waleed Aly and Carrie Bickmore were reported to be earning the same $500,000 annual salary.
The Queensland Times reported at the time that the pair had ‘matching deals’ with Channel 10, but this situation may have since changed.
A later report in The Daily Telegraph in 2019 claimed that Bickmore – who has been with the show since its inception – earned an annual salary of $750,000.
Wilkinson was making $780,000 a year on a two-year contract when she left Channel Nine in 2017, according to The Australian.
Meanwhile, Stefanovic’s three- to five-year contract would be worth between $2 million and $3 million a year, depending on the show’s performance.
Pay: In August 2020, Network 10 declined to comment on rumors that Lisa earns between $1 million and $2.3 million a year when approached by Daily Mail Australia
Wilkinson left the Today show in October 2017.
At the time, it was widely reported that the Nine Network “couldn’t live up to its expectations” after demanding equal pay with Stefanovic.
Nine’s then-CEO Hugh Marks said she was asking for $2.3 million a year, which would have surpassed Stefanovic’s base annual salary of $2 million.
He added that Wilkinson’s other media deals, including with the now-defunct HuffPost Australia website, also impacted her salary.
‘The reason we ran away from Lisa is because we can’t secure’ [other] rights with her,’ said Mr Marks.
‘She has a number of commercial rights with other parties. Her agreement with the Huffington Post limits our ability to interact with her digitally – we are also not allowed to interact with her on social media.
“I hate that we have to compare her to Karl, but with him we have all those rights. We don’t do that with Lisa.’
Claims: After her departure in 2017, then-CEO of Nine, Hugh Marks, said she was charging $2.3 million a year, which would have surpassed her co-host Karl Stefanovic’s annual base salary of $2 million.
Over the weekend, Wilkinson told The Sunday Telegraph that the claims are “completely untrue”.
“Hugh Marks said I demanded $2.3 million during my Nine negotiations. That’s not true at all and that figure isn’t even close to what I’ve discussed with him,” she said.
She went on to say she wanted to “get a more equal share of the Today show’s vastly increased loot.”
“I just asked that since Karl and I had recently taken the Today show to No. 1 in 2016, there would be a more equal share of the greatly increased spoils of the show’s success, especially once I knew how big was the gender pay gap that existed between us,’ she added.
Lisa Wilkinson’s new book It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This will be released on Wednesday, November 3.
‘That’s not true at all’: Lisa told The Sunday Telegraph, the claims are ‘completely untrue, contemptuous’ and hurtful’