Not for the likes of us to question

The Times reports: Jana Bennett, BBC TV chief, says stars’ pay is too complex to understand

The BBC will not disclose the salaries of its top stars because the public would not understand why they are so high, according to one of the corporation’s top executives.


She said: “The BBC is in a market; in the broader sense it’s part of the creative industries. It performs a fundamentally different role than that performed by, for example, policemen or teachers. It is a category error to suggest that the public would actually be able to contribute to working out what we do about it. It’s like me talking about Tom Cruise’s movie deals. I’m not of that sector.”

Ed Vaizey, the Shadow Culture Secretary, said that if a politician made similar comments there would be outrage. “A politician caught on camera saying the public don’t understand why we need to be paid £120,000 gets a front page and outrage. What Jana is saying is that the public don’t have the right to know talent and executives’ pay at the BBC because they wouldn’t understand why they’re paid that money,” he said. “ I think you’d find the public is far more sophisticated than your remarks suggest.”

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