New Sony leaks suggest New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd previewed a column she was writing about Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal to Pascal’s husband Bernard Weinraub–a former Times reporter– before it was published, but Dowd denied to TheWrap that she had done so.
According to Buzzfeed which got hold of the emails, Dowd was writing a column, “Frozen in a Niche?” published on March 4 of this year, quoting Pascal while criticizing Oscar voters for being mostly white, male and middle-aged.
The emails between Pascal and her husband, former Times Hollywood correspondent Weinraub, show that Dowd allowed him to see the column in advance – a breach of New York Times policy. Buzzfeed writes (spelling errors included):
Before Pascal actually interviewed with Dowd for the column, she talked to Weinraub.
“I said the rap that you jus like to make womens films is unfair amnd sexist,” Weinraub said in an email to Pascal on March 4. “You made all these “women’s movies ===league of their own, 28 days,,,the nora Ephron films…zero dark…. but you also do spifderman… denzel….Jonah hill…..bad teacher etc etc.”
Pascal responded, “IM NOT TALKING TO HER IF SHE IS GONNA SLAM ME. PLEASE FIND OUT.”
Weinraub assured her, “you cant tell single person that I’m seeing the column before its printed…its not done…no p.r. people or Lynton or anyone should know.”
Update, 10:01am PT:
Maureen Dowd provided TheWrap the following statement, denying that she showed the column in advance, but acknowledging that he provided her with the idea:
“I never showed Bernie the column in advance or promised to show it. Bernie is an old friend and the Times’ former Hollywood reporter, and he sometimes gives me ideas for entertainment columns. In January, he suggested a column, inspired by a study cited in the L.A. Times, about the state of women in Hollywood. Amy is a friend and I reassured her before our interview that it wasn’t an antagonistic piece. She wasn’t the focus of the story, nor was Sony.
I emailed with Bernie and talked to him before I wrote the column in March, getting his perspective on the Hollywood old boys’ club and the progress of women. But I didn’t send him the column beforehand.”
The exchange turned into a lovefest once the column was published, according to the email exchange:
Pascal emailed Dowd : “I THOUGHT THE STORY WAS GREAT I HOPE YOUR HAPPY “
Dowd responded: “I hope you’re happy! Thanks for helping. Let’s do another.” Pascal replied, “Your my favorite person so yes” and Dowd finished the conversation with “you’re mine! you’re amazing”
Dowd and The New York Times has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment. Weinraub told BuzzFeed, “I have no idea what you’re talking about” when asked about the Dowd story.
Here’s the excerpt from Dowd’s column:
The bluntest remarks came from co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Amy Pascal in Forbes. She talked about the “paltry” amount women make in Hollywood compared to men, about the “unconscious mountain” of rejection against female directors and how “the whole system is geared for them to fail.”
Pascal said she learned from Geena Davis, who runs an institute in Los Angeles on gender in media, that “the most important thing is having female protagonists. It doesn’t matter if they’re a villain or a hero. It just matters that their actions have consequences.”
She thinks that Hollywood men are no longer reluctant to work with women, saying “any problems are completely unconscious. It’s obvious that women understand how to make money. You can’t have a year like last year and not see something different. Women have to help each other more. It’s our duty.”