Sony Execs Apologize For Racist Emails About Obama
Dec 12, 2014 03:38 AM EST
Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal and film producer Scott Rudin have issued apologies regarding their email exchanges that contained racially-tinged remarks about Pres. Obama's imagined taste in movies, the NY Times reports.
The emails between Pascal and Rudin were revealed after hackers posted them online following a recent attack on Sony's computer networks.
"The content of my emails to Scott were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am. Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended," said Amy Pascal in a statement.
For his own part, Scott Rudin said, "To anybody I've offended, I'm profoundly and deeply sorry, and I regret and apologize for any injury they might have caused. I made a series of remarks that were meant only to be funny, but in the cold light of day, they are in fact thoughtless and insensitive - and not funny at all."
The email exchange, as reported by Buzzfeed, occurred before Pascal was to attend a breakfast meeting with Hollywood execs and Pres. Obama.
Pascal had sent an email to Rudin, asking "What should I ask the president at this stupid Jeffrey breakfast?", referring to DreamWorks head Jeffrey Katzenberg who was hosting the breakfast meeting.
Rudin had responded, "Would he like to finance some movies?", to which Pascal replied, "I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?"
Further emails were sent by Pascal with more guesses of which movies Pres. Obama might like, naming films that starred or were directed by African Americans. Movies like "The Butler" and "Think Like a Man" were also mentioned.
Amy Pascal had also contacted Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to begin the "healing process", according to the Hollywood Reporter. "I'm being proactive. And I want to accept responsibility for these stupid, callous remarks," said Pascal. "It was a very preliminary conversation, and we just talked about getting together and hoping to discuss a healing process."
Pascal also replied to being labeled a racist. "I know it's not true. And I know that doesn't reflect who I am or what I feel or what I've done. That certainly doesn't reflect this studio and what we've done here."
Industry observers are now talking about Amy Pascal's future with Sony Pictures in the aftermath of this controversy.
Laura Martin, senior analyst for Needham & Co. had said, "Typically, somebody senior's head rolls when there is a hacking scandal, and the embarrassing email disclosures just help determine who that is going to be in this case."
Ashley McCown of PR firm Solomon McCown & Co. also commented that the divulged emails just "reflect poorly" on Pascal's judgment.
"This is troubling on every level. She says this is not who she is, but then why did she say it in the first place? There is no humor to be found in that at all. The board of Sony is going to have to take a hard look at this situation and make some tough choices."