Tom Chambers “mortified” by gender pay gap backlash

He says comments that men need to support wives and children were taken out of context, but fails to mention that women have families to support too.


Actor Tom Chambers provoked a social media backlash when he reportedly defended the BBC gender pay gap, which was exposed when the corporation made salary details for all staff earning over £150,000 public.


The BBC came under fire for the figures which highlight the lack of diversity among its best paid employees. The seven highest on-air earners were all white men, only five of the top twenty were female and none were black, Asian or of minority ethnic descent.


One person who did make the list was Casualty and Strictly Come Dancing star Chambers, but he then received criticism of his own for seeming to defend the gender pay gap when interviewed at a book launch. He reportedly said:


“My wife works really hard as a stay-at-home mum, but I'm the only one bringing in a salary for our family. Many men's salaries aren't just for them, it's for their wife and children, too."


Following online outrage, Chambers stated that he feels “mortified” in an interview with the Press Association on Tuesday.


"I am completely mortified by the stories that have run today and didn't mean to offend anyone by my comments. I was explaining that I thought it had stemmed from that past, and shouldn't be how things are now. I truly believe that change needs to happen."


His explanation did not mention that women have partners and children to support too.


And so the debate over the gender pay gap continues. In another recent development, it was revealed that over 40 female BBC staff members, including Clare Balding and Angela Rippon have signed an open letter to BBC Director-General Tony Hall urging him to take action immediately.


Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves. // //

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