The New York Times reported soon-to-be-transitioning Sony Chair Amy Pascal admitted she had indeed been fired for her cultural cluelessness—although she technically didn’t acknowledge her ignorance and accountability in the termination. “You should always say exactly what you think directly to people all the time,” said Pascal. “In the moment, the first time.” Um, if Pascal had any integrity, she would have followed her own advice versus insulting President Obama, exposing her closet racism and prompting her own dismissal.
Amy Pascal Says Sony Pushed Her Out of Studio Post
By Michael Cieply
LOS ANGELES — “All I did was get fired,” Amy Pascal said during a public discussion at the Women in the World conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.
With that blunt declaration, Ms. Pascal put to rest behind-the-scenes speculation among those who work closely with her as to how much was push and how much was pull in the weeks leading to the announcement of her exit from Sony Pictures Entertainment last week.
Ms. Pascal now acknowledges there was plenty of push. Her remarks, made on stage during a talk with the writer and media entrepreneur Tina Brown, were framed as a tribute to women honored at the annual meeting, which in the past featured Hillary Rodham Clinton and the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, Christine Lagarde.
“All the women here are doing incredible things in this world,” said Ms. Pascal, in the immediate run-up to her remark about being shoved out of Sony.
Long before Sony was hit by a damaging hacking attack that spread Ms. Pascal’s embarrassing emails around the planet, she had been in deep discussions about a contract renewal, and those obviously had not gone well. In the late summer, it looked as if she might be gone — the victim of a weakening track record and of changing studio economics.
By the fall, however, people close to her signaled that the renewal was settled, though always speaking on condition of anonymity.
In November came the hacking, which crippled the company’s computer systems and made available reams of data on the company, including personal emails. For a time, it appeared that the attack had perversely changed the internal equation in Ms. Pascal’s favor. People briefed on Sony’s internal workings repeatedly said her career would not be a victim of the attack. Sony executives, and Ms. Pascal, just as repeatedly declined to discuss her renewal.
With last week’s announcement of her resignation, Ms. Pascal was described by some people as having tired of the job, and of the contract renewal process. They said she found the prospect of a fresh career producing movies more alluring than a taxing executive job.
The studio’s official statement about her departure was artfully ambiguous: It said Ms. Pascal would “transition” to a new production venture at the studio, without getting into the particulars of her departure.
Ms. Pascal’s new production deal could pay her as much as $40 million over four years, and involves her with some of Sony’s most valued projects, including the “Spider-Man” and “Da Vinci Code” series. As details of the deal came out, word began to circulate among studio associates, including producers who would now be competing with her, that she had in fact been fired.
On Thursday, a spokeswoman for Sony, where Ms. Pascal remains co-chairwoman until May, declined to comment.
But, as reported by the Recode.net Web news service, Ms. Pascal was mincing no words on Wednesday.
“You should always say exactly what you think directly to people all the time,” she said.
“In the moment, the first time.”