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‘There is nothing you can do. You can’t say anything’ Sony executive Amy Pascal speaks out on email hack

Amy Pascal.jpg

Former Sony executive, Amy Pascal, has broken her silence on the hacked email scandal that cost her her job. 

During the incident, which was triggered by the release of The Interview and saw Sony staff have their private emails leaked to the world, Amy Pascal was particularly exposed when her emails discussing Angelina Jolie and Barack Obama were leaked.

And now the former co-chairman has spoken publicly about the whole affair, after stepping down from her role six days ago. 

Beginning her talk at the Women in the World conference at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco, she said '“All the women here are doing incredible things in this world. All I did was get fired”.

Chatting to journalist Tina Brown, Amy talked about the moment she realised her private work emails were going to be revealed.

“I ran this company and I had to worry about everybody who was really scared. … People were really scared. … But nagging in the back of my mind, I kept calling [IT] and being like, ‘They don’t have our emails, tell me they don’t have our emails. But then they did. That was a bad moment. And you know what you write in emails.’”

Famously, Amy and producer Scott Rudin's (No Country for Old Men, The Social Network) email exchanges were exposed in November last year, with Scott labelling Angelina Jolie a “minimally talented spoiled brat”. 

However, Amy replied that “Angie didn’t care”, reasoning that “everybody understood because we all live in this weird thing called Hollywood”. 

“If we were all actually were nice, it wouldn’t work,” she conceded.

Amy Pascal and Angelina Jolie

Amy Pascal and Angelina Jolie at the Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Dec 2014

Another controversial issue that made headlines was the revelation that Jennifer Lawrence was getting paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle.

“I’ve paid (Lawrence) a lot more money since then, I promise you…Here’s the problem: I run a business. People want to work for less money, I pay them less money…Women shouldn’t be so grateful. Know what you’re worth. Walk away.”

Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence

In the same interview, Amy also addressed the emails in which she discussed Barack Obama with producer Scott Rudin. 

In the exchange, the pair discussed what Amy should ask Obama at a fundraising breakfast hosted by DreamWorks' Jeffrey Katzenberg in November 2013.

“Would he like to finance some movies," Rudin wrote. Pascal wrote, “I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?” Rudin responded with “12 YEARS," to which Pascal responded by naming other films starring African-Americans:  “Or the butler. Or think like a man? [sic].”

In response to that particular email being leaked, Amy said the following:

“It was horrible. That was horrible. As a woman, what I did was control how everybody felt about themselves and about me…and there was this horrible moment when I realized there was absolutely nothing I could do about whether I’d hurt people, whether I’d betrayed people.”

“There is nothing you can do. You can’t say anything. You can’t explain anything. It’s just there.”

At the end of the chat she was asked if there's anything that she'd learned from the whole experience.

“Say exactly what you think directly to people all the time. In the moment, the first time.”

The emails were originally hacked in November 2014, by a group who call themselves Guardians of the Peace.

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