Sony Hack: Amy Pascal Apologizes to Harvey Weinstein, Lining Up Studio Supporters

Sony Pictures Entertainment is trying to get out in front of the devastating cyber-attack that has left the company reeling before the next batch of stolen documents leaks online.

Co-chair Amy Pascal has been reaching out to various executives and A-list stars across the industry to apologize preemptively for any disparaging comments she might have made in her correspondence. The Weinstein Co. chairman Harvey Weinstein was among the executives and actors who received an apologetic call from Pascal, insiders tell Variety.

The studio is also becoming more aggressive in mounting a defense after spending the initial days after the hacking essentially performing triage. It is working with the Motion Picture Association of America on a letter of support that would be signed by all of the other major studio heads. The language of the letter has been a sticking point, and some rival studio chiefs are reluctant to become embroiled in the issue. Others are concerned that a show of solidarity would expose their companies to attacks from the hackers, who call themselves Guardians of Peace.

It is suspected that the hacking was launched in conjunction with North Korea as punishment for the release of “The Interview,” a satire that depicts an assassination attempt on the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

Popular on Variety

Pascal has been at the center of the mushrooming public relations mess because some of the stolen messages include notes in which the studio chief makes a series of racially charged comments about President Barack Obama’s movie tastes. Some of the emails also included disparaging comments by Pascal and other top Sony executives about major stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie and Kevin Hart. Pascal’s Obama jokes inspired criticism from the likes of “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes and “Selma” director Ava DuVernay. The actions and comments of Sony executives have been rebuked by Hart, Lisa Kudrow and Mark Ruffalo, among others.

Hollywood players were slow to offer statements of support for the embattled Pascal, but that has slowly begun to change. Howard Stern endorsed Pascal while talking with “The Interview” star Seth Rogen on his Monday broadcast, Judd Apatow tweeted kind words and Aaron Sorkin penned a New York Times opinion piece slamming the media for using the hacked documents. Pascal also received an encouraging phone call from Tyler Perry over the weekend. Despite the blowback Pascal received for her Obama remarks, the director was supportive of Pascal because of her history of backing African-American filmmakers and actors.

At the same time, Sony is putting reporters on the defensive. David Boies, an attorney for the studio, sent a letter to media outlets including Variety threatening legal action if they use stolen materials for articles.

Sony is hosting an all-staff meeting Monday on its Culver City, Calif., lot at 12:30 and 1 p.m. to discuss the fallout from the attack.

More Film

  • Fernando Szew and Tomas Yankelevich

    Particular Crowd, MarVista Set 10-Plus Movies a Year Partnership (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI — Particular Crowd, the big new film banner of Warner Media’s Turner Latin America, and MarVista Entertainment, one of the world’s biggest and ambitious of independent entertainment studios, have announced a multi-year production slate deal. As part of the deal, Particular Crowd and MarVista will target production of 10-plus films per year, focusing on elevated [...]

  • Andy Serkis

    BAFTA to Honor Andy Serkis

    The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is presenting Andy Serkis with its Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award at the 73rd EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony on Feb. 2 in London. The organization said Thursday that it was honoring the British actor, producer and director for his pioneering work on performance [...]

  • The Olympic Rings adorn an event

    Tokyo Olympics Brings Upheaval to Japan's Summer Events Schedule

    The Tokyo Olympics, to be held from July 24 to Aug. 9, and Paralympics, scheduled for Aug. 25 to Sept. 9, are affecting Japan’s big summer events. Everything from fireworks displays to music festivals have chosen to shift dates or even cancel altogether. The only film festival so far to announce a change in dates [...]

  • The Rescue

    Overseas Releases of Chinese Films to be Cancelled Following Virus Outbreak

    The overseas release of Chinese films in the next weeks is certain to be affected by the cancellation of theatrical outings in mainland China as a response to the rampant spread of the coronavirus. On Thursday, movie companies in China announced they would not go ahead with the release of seven major films at Chinese [...]

  • Boris JohnsonConservative Party rally on eve

    U.K. Parliament Passes Brexit Law, Leaving Film, TV Incentives Unaffected

    The U.K. Parliament on Wednesday evening passed legislation paving the way for the country to leave the European Union on Jan. 31, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the U.K. had “crossed the Brexit finish line” following passage of the Withdrawal Agreement, which will officially become law when it receives royal assent from Queen [...]

  • A security guard wears a mask

    Chinese New Year Film Releases Cancelled in Response to Coronavirus

    The deadly coronavirus outbreak has dealt a fatal blow to China’s biggest movie-going weekend of the year, as all new releases were cancelled to prevent further spread of the disease. Seven major films were expected to have been released over the coming weekend, with the likelihood that together they would have earned more than $1 [...]

  • The Turning

    Film Review: ‘The Turning’

    Director Floria Sigismondi’s “The Turning” is like the alt-rock cousin of author Henry James’ novella “The Turn of the Screw.” From its grunge-infused soundtrack and period setting to its fiery feminist overtones, this is an ambitious contemporary take on the iconic, claustrophobic thriller. Concerning two young orphans who psychologically torment their caretaker in a spooky, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content