×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood PR Trio Launches Reputation-Management Cyber Firm to Vet Celebrities, Corporate Giants

A group of well-known Hollywood communications experts have formed a new company that Kevin Hart and James Gunn would have likely run to a year ago.

Paul Pflug, Melissa Zukerman, and Hans-Dieter Kopal of Principal Communications have teamed with leading cyber research and security firm Edgeworth to form Foresight Solutions Group — a “reputation-management” entity that will use advanced technology, former FBI data analysts, and old fashioned crisis-management skills to advise individuals and companies in an age where old tweets can bring down an Oscar host or jeopardize a billion-dollar superhero franchise.

“We feel there’s a huge void facing our industry,” Zuckerman told Variety. “It’s an industry under siege from the duality of both absolute intolerance from harassment and bias, and new and improved expectations surrounding decorum and advocacy and diversity.”

In sum, Hollywood and its related industries are under intense pressure from consumers and creatives to be inclusive, respectful, and transparent. Foresight’s service will include: strategy for discovering and mitigating issues facing an individual or companies, plans to remedy damage from past acts and ongoing monitoring, and advice to manage reputations for public figures and brands.

Targeted clients for Foresight include production companies in the process of acquiring or releasing intellectual property and its subsequent challenges (think Scarlett Johansson and the “Rub & Tug” debacle), public personalities whose continued success is reliant on positive perception, C-suite executives embarking on internal investigations into misconduct, and groups looking to extensively vet job candidates. Foresight’s tech team will also work proactively to squash erroneous and damaging social media content in the public sphere and on the dark web — like the unsettling rise of fake videos (or “deepfakes”) that have targeted stars like “Game of Thrones” lead Emilia Clarke with manufactured, but photo-realistic pornographic images.

The Foresight team also stressed several services it will not provide: resources or strategy to cover up misconduct or impropriety, advice on keeping or firing executives and talent under siege, and any data obtained surreptitiously (no hacking). Foresight intends to adhere to codes of conduct and best practices from major advocacy groups like Time’s Up and GLAAD.

While Foresight already counts inaugural clients, they will never disclose their roster under protections from the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. It will largely communicate with clients via an encrypted app.

Principal Communications will remain active and busy, repping content makers and show business heavyweights like Marvel Studios, Bad Robot, A24, WarnerMedia, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The partners will manage both companies. Edgeworth Security is led by CEO Ken Young, a Marine Corps veteran, and Chad Brockway, VP of cyber operations and former FBI program manager.

(Pictured: Hans-Dieter Kopal, Melissa Zukerman, and Paul Pflug)

More Film

  • General Delegate of the Cannes Film

    Cannes Reinstates Advance Press Screenings, But Favors TV, Radio Journalists (EXCLUSIVE)

    Following last year’s backlash by film critics over changes to its screenings schedule, the Cannes Film Festival has decided to reinstate morning press screenings for movies having their gala world premieres in the evening. But there’s a catch: Only a few hundred journalists — mainly from TV and radio outlets — will be admitted, and [...]

  • Someone Great

    Film Review: ‘Someone Great’

    There simply aren’t enough modern romantic comedies that cherish the merits of female friendship in the aftermath of a romantic breakup. There are even fewer that feel like a personal, lived-in experience. Female-driven raunchcoms (like “Girls Trip”) have explored this territory to a certain extent, though many stop short of delivering genuine poignancy (like “Rough [...]

  • Actresses take part in the #metoo

    Cannes Grows More Inclusive, Boosts Number of Female Filmmakers

    In 1946, the inaugural year of the Cannes Film Festival, Barbara Virginia’s surrealist film, “Tres dias sem Deus” debuted in competition. Over the subsequent seven decades, as it has grown in stature to become one of the world’s premier film gatherings, Cannes hasn’t matched that early promise in highlighting female artists. Finally, the powers that [...]

  • Rocketman

    Cannes: 2019 Lineup Includes 'Rocketman' and Films by 13 Women

    The 72nd Cannes Film Festival has announced its lineup, unveiling an official selection that includes 13 female filmmakers, a number of genre movies, more American titles than last year and an opportunity for Elton John to make a star turn on the Croisette. Twelve of the 47 films announced Thursday are directed by women (one [...]

  • Cannes Unveils 2019 Official Selection (Watch

    Cannes Lineup Announcement: How to Watch

    The 72nd Cannes Film Festival is announcing the films chosen for “official selection” — including those competing for the event’s coveted Palme d’Or prize — in a press conference Thursday starting at 11 a.m. in Paris. The livestream of the press conference is available here. (Please note that the broadcast seldom starts on time.) Last [...]

  • Godzilla

    'Godzilla' Owner Toho Poised for Expansion in Hollywood

    Toho, the largest movie group in Japan, is expanding a subsidiary in the U.S. with a view to working more with Hollywood. The company said that its existing Toho International Inc. subsidiary has been injected with $14 million (JPY15.4 billion), through a share issue subscribed to by the parent company. The subsidiary has existed since [...]

  • View Conference Opens Registration for 2019

    2019 View Conference Opens Registration, Calls for Short Film Competition Entries

    Registration is now open for the 2019 edition of the View Conference in Turin, Italy. No speakers have been announced yet, but past conferences have featured some of the world’s top creative talents in visual effects, animation, gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. Last year’s edition featured composer Hans Zimmer, Paramount Animation topper [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content