The Oscar-winning actress took to Facebook on Wednesday to repost Sadler’s statement in full, praising the single mother of two for making the difficult choice.
“Thank you Catt for sharing your story,” wrote Lawrence, 27, who admitted during an interview in September that she gets “a little nervous” when she sees Sadler because she watches her “so much” on E!
After almost 12 years at the network, the longtime host said farewell to E! on Tuesday evening during her last live broadcast on the entertainment news program. Speaking exclusively with PEOPLE on the day of her exit, Sadler, 43, said she ultimately decided to part ways with E! after executives refused to match her pay to be equal to that Kennedy, who she learned was making “double” her salary for the “past several years.”
“I wanted to stay at E! I wanted to continue here and continue entertaining viewers around the world. That was my hope, but not only did they refuse to pay me as much as my male counterpart, but they didn’t come close — nowhere close, not even remotely close,” said Sadler.
In a statement to PEOPLE on Tuesday, an E! spokesperson said on behalf of the network and Kennedy, “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.”
Following Sadler’s departure, 27-year-old Lawrence — who admitted during an interview in September that she gets “a little nervous” when she sees Sadler because she watches her “so much” on E! — took to Facebook Wednesday to praise the single mother of two for making the difficult choice.
While the decision to part ways from the place she has called home for more than a decade “required a lot of soul-searching,” Sadler is focused on “this obligation that I now have, which very much informed my decision that I too have to be an agent of change.”
“If I stay and do the easy thing, I don’t serve myself and I don’t serve every other female in the world,” said Sadler, who also took to her personal website TheCattwalk.com to share about her exit.
“It’s like I now feel inspired and empowered by these women before me who refused to be silent. And I now join them in what I believe to be a very important movement towards creating change,” she said, referencing her heroines Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou and Lawrence. In October 2015, Lawrence sparked an ongoing conversationwhen she slammed the gender pay inequality in Hollywood in an essay titled “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co Stars?”
Said Sadler, “I think about this obligation that I now have, which very much informed my decision that I too have to be an agent of change. And if I stay and do the easy thing, I don’t serve myself and I don’t serve every other female in the world. It was really, these are the conversations I’ve had with myself and my friends and my family and my team. It’s like I now feel inspired and empowered by these women before me who refused to be silent. And I now join them in what I believe to be a very important movement towards creating change.”
Though her departure has “been one of the hardest decisions” she’s ever had to make, Sadler has the support of family and friends, who she revealed “all support me in this decision.”
“After a lot of soul-searching and consulting with my family, my kids — who when I spell out to them the matter at hand, my 16-year-old son is like, ‘Mom, that’s not fair’ — I know that I have to act according to my belief system and I have to say goodbye,” said Sadler, who is mother to sons Arion Boyd, 12, and Austin Boyd, 16. “And so that is why I have chosen to leave.”
Despite Sadler learning that Kennedy “wasn’t just making a little bit more than me but was making double my salary and has been for several years,” she asserted that the pay disparity — which was both “insulting” and came as a “shock” to her — is not his “fault.”
“Jason Kennedy is one of my best friends in the whole wide world. He is like a brother to me. And in no way do I want this to reflect poorly on him,” she shared. “He’s devastated, I think, and I think he believes that this is a great loss for the network. He does not want to see me go. Jason is a class act … It’s important that people don’t vilify him because he isn’t the problem — the system’s the problem, the structure’s the problem. And I really do mean that. Because that’s been a hard part of this whole thing because I love him dearly. And to be honest, he has been such a champion for me in every sense. But it’s not his decision.”
Looking to her next professional endeavor, Sadler hopes to return to the TV screen and “continue to create really meaningful content.”
“I love the climate in which we are operating right now. I think it’s exciting, I think it’s thrilling. I’d like to cover more about this ongoing story of women making change and I want to be a champion for women really,” she explained. “So if I can do that and incorporate that in my future broadcasting endeavors, that would be extremely fulfilling to me.”