Sony Just Hired The Real Olivia Pope To Help With Its PR Disaster

Olivia pope lightenedNetflixKerry Washington plays ‘Olivia Pope’ on the hit show ‘Scandal,’ which is based on Judy Smith.

After a nightmarish past three weeks, Sony is finally seeking some crisis PR.

“Sony has hired crisis management expert Judy Smith  — the inspiration for Kerry Washington’s Scandal character, Olivia Pope — to help advise Amy Pascal [Sony co-chair] and the studio on its message and next steps,” The Hollywood Reporter confirmed.

Judy SmithLisa Lake/Getty Images for Massachusetts Conference for WomenJudy Smith is the inspiration behind the ‘Olivia Pope’ character on ‘Scandal.’

Smith, who runs Smith & Company  —  one of the premiere crisis management firms in the country  —  has been focusing on dealing with the criticism after Sony pulled “The Interview” from theatres.

According to TMZ, who broke the story: “Our sources tell us Smith has been especially helpful to Sony because of her deep contacts with the government, and she has been involved on both the D.C. and Hollywood fronts. Smith and other members of the Sony crisis team have been behind some of the recent messaging … that this is not just a Sony issue but an industry issue … and that Sony’s decision was in large part to protect the safety and welfare of its employees.”

On Friday, President Obama said in a press conference that “Sony made a mistake” by cancelling “The Interview.” Sony then issued a statement assuring that the studio had not “caved,” as the president suggested, but were instead forced to pull the controversial flick after major theatre chains backed out of showing it.

And now Smith has been brought on to deal with the he said/she said aftermath.

Smith previously worked as deputy press secretary to President George H.W. Bush before starting her own crisis management firm, Smith & Company. Her website states she’s on “speed dial for some of the highest-profile celebrities, politicians and corporations in the world.”  Her past clients have included Monica Lewinsky, Wesley Snipes, Michael Vick, and the family of Chandra Levy.

Smith’s life is the inspiration for the lead character, Olivia Pope, on ABC’s hit show “Scandal,” a popular show about a political fixer. Smith is a co-executive producer on the show. 

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.