Sony executive may face call from Sharpton to resign over emails about race

Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:06pm EST
 
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By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton will meet next week with Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman Amy Pascal and decide whether her emails about President Barack Obama's race warrant calling for her resignation.

Pascal is under pressure after her private emails were exposed by hackers who attacked the computer network of the Hollywood movie studio, a unit of Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote).

In exchanges with producer Scott Rudin, Pascal guesses that Obama might be a fan of "Django Unchained" or other films with black actors or themes. The emails were published by Buzzfeed and Reuters has not confirmed them.

In a statement on Thursday, Sharpton said Pascal's statements reflected a "lack of diversity" in Hollywood. He said Sony needed to take steps "to respect the African American community and reflect that respect in their hiring and business practices."

Pascal and Sharpton had a "candid conversation" when she phoned him to apologize on Thursday, said Sharpton's spokeswoman Jacky Johnson. But Sharpton "made clear he has not accepted her apology," she said.

Sharpton is "inclined" to call for Pascal's resignation, "but has agreed to hear her out in person" in New York before making a decision, Johnson said.

A Sony spokeswoman had no comment.

Pascal, in a statement on Thursday, apologized and said her emails were "insensitive and inappropriate." She told the Hollywood Reporter she reached out to Sharpton and Reverend Jesse Jackson and wanted to start "a healing process."   Continued...

 
Reverend Al Sharpton announces a march against police violence on December 13 in Washington DC at Reverend Sharpton's National Action Network House of Justice in New York December 6, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly