Sony’s Amy Pascal Stepping Down as Co-Chairman

Sony: Amy Pascal Out as Co-Chairman

Amy Pascal is stepping down as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and chairman of its motion picture group.

She will remain at the studio as part of a new producing deal.  Pascal will stay in place through May, at which point she will take the reins at her new venture.

No decision has been made on her replacement, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation, but there is a deep bench on the Sony lot. Among her possible replacements from within the Sony ranks are former Fox studio chief Tom Rothman, who now runs TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group President Doug Belgrad and Columbia Pictures Production President Michael De Luca.

Pascal’s contract expires in March. She is one of the longest-serving Hollywood studio chiefs and has been praised for her role in shepherding a number of commercial and critical hits such as “Spider-Man,” “The Social Network,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “21 Jump Street” to the bigscreen.

The end of her tenure has been rocky, however, as Pascal’s departure comes after a devastating hack of her emails left her vulnerable and compromised her relationships with top talent. Pascal has been forced to apologize to A-list actors, producers and stars after her unvarnished thoughts on projects involving the likes of Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio and Bradley Cooper were made public.

A series of racially insensitive remarks she made with producer Scott Rudin about President Barack Obama’s favorite movies — the two joked that the president was a fan of “The Butler,” “12 Years a Slave” and other films about African-American topics — led to meetings with civil rights leaders such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, along with vows to make amends. Pascal, a liberal voice on issues such as same sex marriage and a vocal supporter of Obama,insisted that the remarks do not reflect her true beliefs or character, but her remarks drew stinging rebukes from the likes of Shonda Rhimes and Ava DuVernay.

The hack was launched by North Korea in retaliation for “The Interview,” a lewd comedy that centered on an assassination attempt on the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

Sony is providing the funding for Pascal’s production company and will retain worldwide rights to the films she makes. It will be based on the Sony lot and the commitment is for four years.

“I have spent almost my entire professional life at Sony Pictures and I am energized to be starting this new chapter based at the company I call home,” said Pascal in a statement.  “I have always wanted to be a producer.”

Pascal had already been concerned that the ax might fall on her head prior to the the Sony hack. Although Sony has fielded hits such as “22 Jump Street” and “Captain Phillips,” the studio is still reeling from the months of layoffs enacted as a response to activist investor Daniel Loeb’s criticism of its management and its decision to greenlight flops such as “White House Down” and “After Earth.”

Sony shares rose 2.85% to $26.68 after news broke of Pascal’s departure.

 

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  1. H.C. says:

    Wait, is that Mel Gibson laughing..? Yup, it’s Mel!

  2. Mike Flores says:

    This is damn wrong. Immoral. This woman not only saved the damn company when it was under attack, she came up with a marketing strategy for THE INTEVIEW which proved we don’t need 3000 theaters and tens of millions budget on ads to make money. She introduced to the big studios, multi platform release. So let’s see, in the last month the left in Hollywood has had her removed, has attacked AMERICAN SNIPER and veterans, and is getting ready to celebrate a supporter of Hitler, Dalton Trumbo.
    It is time to flush the toilet.

  3. good Hollywood leftists mocking a good leftist president? What is this world coming to? I love when the masks come off and these hypocrites reveal who they really are behind closed doors and keyboards.

    Just in case you were off planet when the Edward Snowden NSA Scandal came to light, there is really no such thing as 100% secure file storage if its connected to the internet. Especially if you use any third party storage… I store EVERYTHING on a portable hard drive… and dis-connect it when I am not using it.. You can get a terabyte portable hard drive for around $150.00, I never have to worry about losing anything or anyone stealing my files…and I don’t pay a monthly fee..

    Hell, I don’t even really use my “smart phone”. My old dumb-one is good enough for me and its cheaper. It’s a waste of money juswohukyzug@yahoo.comt like so many other things in America like student loans (get a cheap education!), expensive car insurance (my $25/month policy from Insurance Panda is good enough for me), and fast food (who wants to pay $10 for a Chipotle burrito?!?).

    Also – One way to completely ensure there are no bad photos of yourself that could wind up in an embarrassing situations is to NOT take them. Seems pretty logical to me… And if you don’t want your racist emails coming to light, don’t write them!

    • Zezz you. says:

      Yup, you’re safe from the government picking your life apart clean if it chooses to do so. And as for your um frugality….the line outside your door for mating begins now.

    • Lisa says:

      ‘ And if you don’t want your racist emails coming to light, don’t write them!’ Here’s something – don’t be racist. Even more simple.

  4. srvwp2013 says:

    Ms. Pascal simply should have been fired. Period. Anyone, woman or man, who violates the rules of appropriate conduct in their business must be fired. We must all bear the responsibilities and consequences of what we do from the moment our feet hit the floor in the morning.

  5. PetG says:

    Nice first step in cleaning out the racists in charge over at Sony.

  6. rhughsirius says:

    Another high heel shoe has fallen. Clunk.

  7. Great development!! Bigotry does not belong in any industry in America certainly not the film industry with its massive audiences and influence.

  8. Desi Singh says:

    Man I see the trolls spewing their hate filled rants on all the trades’ comment boards today! It’s really easy to bad mouth people and try to trash them when you don’t use your real names. It seems the only people using their full names are the ones not spewing negativity. What’s the matter afraid of the ramifications for unwarranted mud slinging and trashing the reputation of Amy Pascal?

    Remember no one is safe from hackers, not even the federal government, so there’s nothing she could have done to prevent the hack. Hackers will always find a way in, that’s just what they do. They’ve even hacked the FBI and Defense Dept, so why should Sony have any better security than them?

    Imho, Sony is making a huge mistake letting Amy Pascal go! She has an amazing aptitude for picking great projects, plus she has always fostered new creative talent whenever possible. No one can pick a winner 100% of the time. And everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect. So let ye who has not sinned, cast the first stone. She is one of the few executives who would actually return calls to new filmmakers personally. Her kindness and open door policy will be sorely missed. I only hope she continues to foster and support new creative talent in whatever new company she forms, as she has always done.

  9. catherbo says:

    I thought the hack was proven to have been committed by six disgruntled ex-employees, not North Korea. Check your facts, please.

  10. equipmentguy says:

    I called this the day after it blew up, wait a little bit and all corp suits defend the hell out of her so it doesn’t look like she’s being fired immediately because of her comments. Next all the big talent in town leaves the lot or threatens to leave because of the email comments. And finally corp guys in Japan says okay that’s long enough and here is your production deal as an indie producer and here are the keys to a bungalow at the back of the lot. A nice deal for her buy I would be shocked if any of her films ever get shot or funded. She’ll hang out for 2-3 years with a fat overhead deal and then ride off in the sunset.

  11. Sanchez Vicki says:

    In the time honored way Hollywood is run, let’s throw the female under the bus.
    I wonder how long it will take to discover that she is irreplaceable. Nice going Boys!

    • Geno says:

      uh, according to Sony’s own website, their one “awards” film this year was “Fury.” As in, the tank movie.

    • SC says:

      Idiotic comment, simply wrong on all counts. It doesn’t do anything for the cause of diversity and equality to keep someone around who has so profoundly damaged the business.

    • Fly on the wall says:

      “Let’s throw the female under the bus”… Really? She’s being let go because of her actions, not her gender. That’s gender equality. Anyone whose actions were the same as hers, regardless of gender or race, would have been let go.

      Stop throwing down the sexist card. You bore me.

  12. “No decision has been made on her replacement, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation, but there is a deep bench on the Sony lot. Among her possible replacements from within the Sony ranks are former Fox studio chief Tom Rothman, who now runs TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group President Doug Belgrad, and Columbia Pictures Production President Michael De Luca.”

    – Can I quote- Jeff SPICOLI- TO -Stu Nahan- about these guys???! I am your HIPPO BUTT. Come on Sony.

  13. Joyce Tyler says:

    This is ridiculous. The President DOES like films dealing with African-American subjects! And her male counterpart was just as bitchy about Sony’s “top talent”; why isn’t HE being forced to resign?

    • Dex says:

      @Joyce
      C’mon…don’t be simple. The President also likes “Boyhood” and “Lincoln,” yet oddly enough, neither of those was mentioned in the email. Surely you’re not too obtuse to understand why.
      The latter part of your post, however, is valid.

      • SC says:

        I don’t believe the latter part of that point was valid – I saw no indication that Michael Lynton engaged in the sort of immaturity that Amy Pascal did. If ‘her male counterpart’ is meant to refer to Scott Rudin, he is an independent film producer, not an employee. I hope he suffers just as great damage to his career, but as an individual, it would be up to others who choose whether or not to do business with him to decide that. He has nothing to resign from.

    • Another moron thinking the President has something to do with Sony executive- Moron Joyce- The Executives making most Sony moves are Japanese!

      • Joyce Tyler says:

        Only a moron calls another person a moron for expressing an opinion, Mujahijimmydean. What are you 12? And I never said that the Prez had anything to do with Pascal being fired. My post was in response to what was said in the article.

    • BriteBlonde1 says:

      ABSOLUTELY true. Women always get the fuzzy lollipop while the men just continue in their jobs. It’s TOTAL BS.

  14. Jim says:

    NOW SHE CAN DO WHATEVER SHE WANTS! LIKE TELLING KEVIN HART OFF.

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