Sony’s Amy Pascal Teams With Al Sharpton, Black Activists to Combat Hollywood’s Lack of Diversity

Announcement follows meeting between Pascal and Sharpton in New York about the studio executive’s racially insensitive emails

Last Updated: December 18, 2014 @ 1:26 PM

Amy Pascal met with Rev. Al Sharpton Thursday, a week after apologizing for leaked e-mails in which she and producer Scott Rudin exchanged racially-charged jokes about President Barack Obama.

“Very pointed and blunt exchange w/Amy Pascal in our 90 min meeting,” Sharpton tweeted after the meeting. “Hollywood needs to change. Her leaked e mails show a cultural blindness.”

Sharpton also held a news conference in Manhattan announcing Sony had agreed to form a “working group” to address the racial diversity issue in Hollywood along with members of activist groups including Sharpton’s own National Action Network, the National Urban League, the NAACP and the Black Women’s Roundtable.

As TheWrap previously reported, Pascal and Rudin apologized after joking in personal emails about the president’s favorite movies, suggesting that he would prefer those about African-Americans.

“Would he like to finance some movies,” responded Rudin, when Pascal sought his advice on what she should say to the President at a fundraiser.

“I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?” asked Pascal, with Rudin replying “12 YEARS.”

The exchange was published on various media websites and prompted apologies from the studio executive and powerful producer.

“The content of my emails were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am,” Pascal said in a statement, adding that “although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended.”

After the Thursday face-to-face meeting with Pascal, Sharpton said he also has issues with Sony’s decision to pull “The Interview” from release after hackers threatened a 9/11-style attack on any theaters that decided to show the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy depicting an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un.

“We discussed [that] there was a serious and dangerous precedent that has been established where anonymous hackers can intimidate the actual life in America,” Sharpton told the media in New York, according to the LA Times.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Sony hack attack has been the subject of daily meetings among senior intelligence officials at the White House.

“This is something that is being treated as a serious national security matter,” Earnest said at a White House press conference Thursday.

While various media outlets cited official sources saying the investigation has centered on North Korea as having ordered the attack, Erneast stopped short of confirming the speculation.

“The investigation is progressing and that as the national security team meet to discuss this matter, they are considering a range of options,” he said.

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