Producer Scott Rudin 'deeply sorry' over emails leaked in Sony hack

Movie producer Scott Rudin issued an apology Thursday over racially charged comments he made about U.S. President Barack Obama in emails leaked after a cyber attack.

Emails reveal Sony CEO and producer joked about which movies U.S. President Barack Obama would like

Hacked Sony emails expose racist insults

7 years ago
Racist emails about U.S. President Barack Obama between a Sony Pictures executive and one of Sony's top film producers prompted public apologies today 2:31

Stunning revelations continue to flow from the cyber security breach at Sony last month that saw unreleased movies and confidential emails leaked online.  

Movie producer Scott Rudin issued an apology Thursday on the industry website Deadline over racially charged comments he made in private emails leaked Wednesday night.

Hacked documents quoted in Variety reveal an embarrassing exchange between Rudin and Sony Pictures CEO Amy Pascal in which they joke about the kinds of movies U.S. President Barack Obama would like.

"Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?" wrote Pascal, referring to Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 film. Rudin replied by naming off more titles featuring black characters including 12 Years a Slave, The Butler and Think Like a Man.

"I made a series of remarks that were meant only to be funny," Rudin said in his apology Thursday. "But in the cold light of day, they are in fact thoughtless and insensitive — and not funny at all.

"To anybody I've offended, I'm profoundly and deeply sorry."

Pascal also issued an apology Thursday for her part in the exchange. "The content of my emails were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am," she said in a statement quoted in Variety.

Angelina Jolie a 'spoiled brat'

More damaging emails between Rudin and Pascal released earlier in the week reveal a bitter internal battle at Sony over the troubled Steve Jobs biopic, Jobs.

Unbroken director Angelina Jolie was labelled a 'minimally talented spoiled brat' by producer Scott Rudin in one of the emails that was stolen when the company was hacked. (Shizuo Kambayashi/Associated Press)
The stolen exchanges, also quoted in Variety, centre on Hollywood star Angelina Jolie's apparent displeasure that David Fincher was set to direct Jobs, thereby making him unavailable for one of her projects.

Rudin lashed out in one email in which he called the actress a "minimally talented spoiled brat."


Jobs has since been taken over by Universal Pictures.

Dispute over exploding head

The cyber saga has also revealed a fight between Canadian actor Seth Rogen and and Sony over The Interview, the comedian's new movie that depicts the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

Warning: movie plot spoilers ahead

James Franco, left, and Seth Rogen play American journalists sent to a assassinate North Korea's leader in The Interview. Rogen was not happy about changes he was forced to make to the movie, according to a stolen email. (Ed Araquel/Sony Pictures Entertainment/Associated Press)
In one leaked exchange, obtained by Reuters, Pascal confronted Rogen about a scene that shows the North Korean leader’s head exploding – a graphic depiction that the CEO of Sony’s Japanese parent company apparently asked to be toned down.

But the 32-year-old Canadian, who wrote, directed and stars in the R-rated comedy, pushed back.

"This is now a story of Americans changing their movie to make North Koreans happy," wrote Rogen in an email. "That is a very damning story."

Despite his resistance, Pascal eventually succeeded in having the film altered, with Rogen submitting the final cut for approval in October.

"This is it!!! We removed the fire from the hair and the entire secondary wave of head chunks," said Rogen. "Please tell us this is over now."

FBI investigating

Many have speculated that North Korea is behind the cyber attack on Sony in retaliation for The Interview, but Pyongyang has denied any involvement, while maintaining its condemnation of the film.

A group calling itself the Guardians of Peace has claimed responsibility for the attack, but FBI investigators have not determined the source of the breach.

When The Interview premieres in Los Angeles Thursday night, there will be no interviews granted on the red carpet.

A Sony spokesman confirmed Wednesday that no broadcast media have been invited to cover the film's premiere, but would not link the blackout to the massive cyber attack.

With files from The Associated Press


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