Saturday, December 20, 2014

12325: Amy Pascal Lacks Integrity.

The New York Times reported Sony Chair Amy Pascal attended the obligatory powwow with Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss her culturally clueless emails recently exposed to the public. Still wondering why this woman hasn’t been terminated. But it looks like Sony is running a PR scheme to back her, garnering supportive commentary from Oprah, Tyler Perry and even Chris Rock (the support from Rock, incidentally, is suspect, as Scott Rudin—Pascal’s email pal—produced Rock’s latest movie).

So why should Pascal be fired without further examination of her alleged “non-racist” persona? In her initial apology, Pascal insisted, “The content of my emails to Scott were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am.” Sorry, but the woman is delusional if she believes her own bullshit. It’s all a matter of integrity. The dictionary defines integrity as “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” Chairman and CEO of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. Josh Weston said, “I’ve always tried to live with the following simple rule: ‘Don’t do what you wouldn’t feel comfortable reading about in the newspapers the next day.’” It’s a safe bet Pascal is not comfortable reading about her ignorance in the newspapers and World Wide Web. So she should quit arguing that the conversation with Rudin was “not an accurate reflection of who I am.” Her position lacks moral character and honesty.

Additionally, check out Sony Corporation’s official stance on employment: “Sony is committed to supporting and developing its employees by fostering a winning team spirit and high personal accountability. We hope you’ll consider joining our dynamic team—one that values broad cross-cultural perspective, takes great pride in its work and shares an unwavering commitment to excellence and success.” Pascal falls short in the “high personal accountability” and “broad cross-cultural perspective” departments.

Most disturbing is Pascal’s disrespect for President Barack Obama. Are Hollywood power players so egotistical that they have no reservations pooh-poohing meetings with the Commander-In-Chief—and doing so with racist remarks? Unfortunately, Pascal is a racist. Or maybe saying she displayed “unconscious bias” would be a more contemporary way to describe the situation. Regardless, the woman should not be representing a major studio, especially given the discrimination and racism still so prevalent in the industry.

If Pascal had an ounce of integrity, she would resign. Hey, Madison Avenue is always looking for female leaders—and Pascal would fit right in.

Sony’s Movie Chief Meets With Black Leaders

By Brooks Barnes

LOS ANGELES — Black leaders, angered by racially insensitive emails sent by Amy Pascal, the movie chief at Sony Pictures Entertainment, emerged from a meeting with her on Thursday saying they had reached an understanding about how to move forward.

Ms. Pascal, who is also co-chairwoman of Sony Pictures, met at a Manhattan hotel with the Rev. Al Sharpton and the president of the National Urban League, Marc H. Morial, after the disclosure last week by hackers of unseemly racial banter in private emails. The email exchange in question, between Ms. Pascal and the producer Scott Rudin, turned on President Obama’s supposed taste for black-themed films.

“I left feeling that Amy is someone we can work with,” Mr. Morial, a former mayor of New Orleans, said in a telephone interview. “It’s important that we look forward. Amy again expressed her deep regret and committed Sony’s help in pushing for far greater diversity in movies and television.”

Asked whether Ms. Pascal had his support in keeping her job, Mr. Morial said: “One executive losing a job does not change the larger picture. The larger picture is our focus.”

Mr. Sharpton, who had harshly criticized Ms. Pascal after the online publication of her email exchange with Mr. Rudin, which he called “offensive, insulting,” wrote on Twitter that Thursday’s 90-minute meeting was a “very pointed and blunt exchange.” He added in comments with the news media that Ms. Pascal and other Sony leaders had agreed to meet again soon with civil rights leaders.

Mr. Sharpton called the email exchange between Ms. Pascal and Mr. Rudin, who was not involved in Thursday’s meeting, the byproduct of “an exclusionary, almost all-white hierarchy” in Hollywood. He added that, for him, “The jury is still out on where we go with Amy.”

Ms. Pascal declined to comment.

Ms. Pascal’s defenders, while not condoning the email exchange, point out that Sony has one of Hollywood’s better track records in making films with predominantly black casts. On Friday the studio will release a remake of “Annie” with Quavenzhané Wallis in the lead role. In 2014 Sony has also released “Think Like a Man Too,” “No Good Deed” and “About Last Night.”

The email exchange has polarized Hollywood’s black community.

Some people, like Oprah Winfrey, have voiced support. “I would hope that we would not stand in judgment, in such harsh judgment, of a moment in time where somebody was hacked and their private conversations were put before the world,” Ms. Winfrey told reporters this week. Tyler Perry similarly told CNN that he “absolutely” did not believe that Ms. Pascal was racist.

“When I read their comments, I see the humor, even if some people would find it unacceptable,” John Singleton, the director of “Boyz N the Hood,” wrote in The Hollywood Reporter.

But other black actors, writers and producers saw the comments as intolerable, with the television heavyweight Shonda Rhimes as perhaps the most outspoken. “Calling Sony comments ‘racially insensitive remarks’ instead of ‘racist?'” Ms. Rhimes wrote on Twitter. “U can put a cherry” on excrement “but it don’t make it a sundae.”

While silent publicly, other black actors, including Will Smith and Jamie Foxx, have privately phoned Ms. Pascal to express their support, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Mr. Smith’s company, Overbrook Entertainment, has long been based at Sony. Mr. Foxx stars in “Annie.”

No comments: