BBC faces backlash over salaries as top seven earners are all white men.

The BBC has been criticised over the huge gender pay gap and lack of diversity, after being forced to reveal their highest paid stars’ salaries. The broadcaster’s data has revealed that it’s top seven earners are all white men, whilst out of its 96 top earners only 11 come from a BAME background.

The salaries are divided into pay bands, and only include pay for presenters and talent who work directly for the BBC, mainly in news, radio, sport, and some drama. The totals don’t include fees paid by independent production companies who make some of the BBC’s biggest hit comedy and entertainment shows. They also do not disclose the income earned through BBC Worldwide.

Radio 2’s Chris Evans tops the list, making between £2.2 million and £2.25 million in 2016/2017, closely followed by Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, who earned between £1.75 million and £1.8 million.

Other top earners include Graham Norton (£850,0000 – £899,999), Jeremy Vine (£700,000 – £749,999), John Humphrys (£600,000 – £649,999), Huw Edwards (£550,000 – £599,999), and Steve Wright (£500,000 – £549,999).

The highest paid female is Claudia Winkleman, who made between £450,000 and £499,999, over four times less than Evans.

The highest paid female and the only highest paid female from a BAME background is Mishal Hussain with earnings of £200,000 – £299,999.

A statement from the BBC on the release of the statistics said: “On gender and diversity, the BBC is more diverse than the broadcasting industry and the civil service.

“We have set the most stretching targets in the industry for on-air diversity and we’ve made progress, but we recognise there is more to do and we are pushing further and faster than any other broadcaster.”

Just 10 people on the list were from a minority ethnic background, and they tended to fall into the lower end of the earnings scale. The highest-ranked earner Chris Evans, took home approximately the same as all of its BAME high-earners put together last year. The maximum that all BAME staff together earned last year, based on the upper limit of the BBC’s bands, was £2.24m, while the minimum Chris Evans could have earned was £2.2m.

The broadcaster is believed to be working towards a goal of 15 per cent black and ethnic minority talent by 2020.

BBC Chief Tony Hall said: “On gender and diversity, the BBC is more diverse than the broadcasting industry and the Civil Service. We have set the most stretching targets in the industry for on-air diversity and we’ve made progress, but we recognise there is more to do and we are pushing further and faster than any other broadcaster.”

He went on: “At the moment, of the talent earning over £150,000, two-thirds are men and one-third are women. We’ve set a clear target for 2020: we want all our lead and presenting roles to be equally divided between men and women. And it’s already having a huge impact. If you look at those on the list who we have hired or promoted in the last three years, 60 per cent are women and nearly a fifth come from a BAME background.”

Many have taken to social media to express their outrage over the recent disclosure of salaries.

@nadineaishaj Lets not forget #BBCpaygap isn’t just abt gender (tho glad we’re talking abt it), but also shows other inequalities + lack of representation

@KASiddall We’re not just talking about men v woman in terms of #BBCPayGap issue. What about those who aren’t white?! What the actual f*ck!? No excuse.

@AssedBaig  While everyone is distracted by how much BBC stars get paid, people are forgetting how little BME peeps get paid…

@omaromalleykhan BBC racial pay gap is poor. Tho prob no worse than all UK employers, incl in London, where 4/10 aged 45-54 are BME. Do any boards, SMT match?

What are your views on BBC top salaries? Are women underpaid? Is the BBC under paying BAME talent? Or do you think the top earners salaries are justified?

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