Notably, Sharpton compared Pascal to Donald Sterling, the former LA Clippers owner who made his own infamous racial remarks in a leaked tape earlier this year. Facing intense pressure, Sterling ultimately sold the team.
“These emails nominate Amy Pascal to be considered by some of us in the same light that we concluded and moved on the ownership of Donald Sterling of the L.A. Clippers,” Sharpton, an influential civil rights advocate, said in a statement Thursday afternoon.
In her emails, Pascal and producer Scott Rudin joked about which African-American-themed movies President Barack Obama would like. They apologised after the messages were made public.
“The content of my emails to Scott were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am,” Pascal said. “Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologise to everyone who was offended.”
Sharpton, however, was not satisfied with the mea culpa and said there is a larger issue of diversity in Hollywood studios.
“What is most troubling about these statements is that they reflect a continued lack of diversity in positions of power in major Hollywood studios,” he said. “The statements clearly show how comfortable major studio powers are with racial language and marginalization. Her apology is not enough there must be moves by her studio and others to respect the African American community and reflect that respect in their hiring and business practices.”
The emails were leaked as part of a massive cybersecurity attack targeting Sony that some believe is linked to the movie “The Interview.” The movie lampoons North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea has furiously objected to the movie leading to speculation it may be involved in the hacking.
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