The recent cyber-attack at Sony did a lot more than download some bootlegs, hacked emails records also revealed an ugly exchange between executives that is nothing short of blatantly racist.
Sony Pictures Chairwoman Amy Pascal and film producer Scott Rudin got busted going back and forth while speculating on what President Obama’s favorite movies were. Sounds like a harmless enough discussion until you read it.
In case you were wondering how the emails were leaked in the first place, a hacker group known as the Guardians of Peace launched a full out cyber attack on Sony.
Supposedly the attack was levied against the entertainment giant for it’s upcoming release of the movie The Interview. The comedy features a news team recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The crazies in North Korea have decried the film as an act of war which prompted the attack.
The email conversation in question began prior to a November 2013 fundraiser hosted top Democratic Party donor Jeffrey Katzenberg. Rudin and Pascal discussed what the guest of honor, President Obama, might enjoy in terms of movies.
Here are the key excerpts from the email chain:
“What should I ask the president at this stupid Jeffrey breakfast?” Pascal wrote Rudin.
Rudin, a highly regarded producer of big Hollywood hits , answered, “Would he like to finance some movies?”
“I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?” Pascal replied, referring to Django Unchained which had more than a few racially charged components to put it mildly.
“12 YEARS?” Rudin responded, referring to 12 Years a Slave, the story of a free man sold into slavery.
In case there was any doubt on where Pascal was going with the conversation, she then carried the racist joke by suggesting The Butler, Think Like a Man, and some other movies with mostly black casts.
“Ride-along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart,” Rudin responded.
You get the jist of the conversation which went on like that for a bit. It reveals a sordid side of the entertainment industry of how they look at “black entertainment” in general for who knows what reason they decided to apply those sentiments to none other than the President of the United States. Keep in mind, these weren’t two jerks just shooting the crap in the mail room.
These are two very high powered Hollywood players at a major studio that have influence over what see and hear across many mediums. Of course once they were cold busted, the two immediately went to the old stand-by when a high profile person is caught being racist, they seek counseling and training. What a crock!
Pascal come out and stated in what has to be laughably insincere that she wants to start the “healing process” and she’s called Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton for consultation. I’m not really even sure what “healing process” means in this case except “please don’t fire me immediately, I can get rid of my racism with six sessions or so”. Pascal is a joke.
One ironic component of the story is that Pascal and Rudin are big Obama contributors, although pretty much anyone in Hollywood will generally support the Democrats.
Rubin’s apology made a little more sense but not my much:
“Private emails between friends and colleagues written in haste and without much thought or sensitivity, even when the content of them is meant to be in jest, can result in offense where none was intended. 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. To anybody I’ve offended, I’m profoundly and deeply sorry, and I regret and apologize for any injury they might have caused.”
There’s certainly been more racist things said by powerful people in the past, but the fact this kind of back-and-forth goes on between high-powered entertainment figures is particularly worrisome.
Just another case of public figures being sorry that they got caught, not sorry about what they did. One day this “casual” racism will disappear from corporate America, unfortunately it doesn’t look like that day is coming anytime soon.