Sony Pictures cyberattack: Emails reveal studio drama, racial jokes

A look at the email exchanges between top executives, producers and actors that were released to the Web in the massive cyber attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment.

T he massive cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment continued to spiral this week when email exchanges between top executives, producers and actors were released on the Web. Some of the correspondences included disparaging comments about major Hollywood figures.

Others revealed internal deliberations over films including the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy “The Interview,” which has been condemned by North Korea for its depiction of a fictional assassination attempt on leader Kim Jong Un.


Recent leaks show Sony Pictures co-Chairman Amy Pascal making racially insensitive jokes about President Obama. Pascal has apologized for her comments. The leaks have prompted responses from the likes of comic actor Kevin Hart and financier Megan Ellison.

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times

ON ANGELINA JOLIE: “I have zero appetite for the indulgence of spoiled brats and I will tell her this myself if you don’t.” – Movie producer Scott Rudin to co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Amy Pascal on Jolie in an email, Feb. 27, 2014.


Jennifer S. Altman/For The Times

SCOTT RUDIN: “Watch how you talk to me” – Rudin to Amy Pascal in an email, Feb. 27, 2014. | “this bipolar 28 year old lunatic” – Rudin on financier Megan Ellison in an email, Nov. 8, 2014.

Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

MEGAN ELLISON: “I always thought of myself more as eccentric” – Ellison, center, via Twitter, Dec. 9, 2014.

Sony Studios


AMY PASCAL: “You have the power to help me here ... I haven’t the foggiest notion how to deal with Japanese politics as it relates to Korea so all I can do is make sure that Sony won’t be put in a bad situation and even that is subjective” – Pascal to Seth Rogen on changes to scenes in “The Interview” in an email, Sept. 25, 2014. | “Why are u punishing me” – Pascal to Scott Rudin, shortly before the producer’s Steve Jobs biopic moved from Sony to Universal Pictures, Nov. 19, 2014.

Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

SETH ROGEN: “Thanks so much and thanks for letting us make it. Nobody else would do that. Thanks.” – Rogen to Amy Pascal, regarding “The Interview,” in an email, April 17, 2014. | “We will make it less gory” – Rogen to Amy Pascal on changes to a scene in “The Interview” in an email, Sept. 25, 2014.

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times

ON KEVIN HART: “If his film does NOT perform it hurts his brand and we have his next 3 films. I’m not saying he’s a whore, but he’s a whore.” – Sony studio executive Clint Culpepper on Hart, Mar. 7, 2014.


Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Variety; Evan Agostini/Associated Press

AMY PASCAL & SCOTT RUDIN: Nov. 26, 2013 exchange.

Pascal: “What should I ask the president at this stupid Jeffrey breakfast?”

Rudin: “Would he like to finance some movies?”

Pascal: “I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked Django?”

Rudin: “12 YEARS.”

Pascal: “Or the butler. Or think like a man?”

Rudin: “Ride-along. I bet he likes Kevin Hart.”

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