Last week, Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal announced that she will step down from her post. Pascal’s announcement came after months of turbulence resulting from hackers releasing personal information and embarassing emails to the public. Pascal found herself in the middle of the PR nightmare when her own emails were leaked.
At the Women in the World conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Pascal said she was fired rather than stepping down as a result of those emails.
According to a reporter for tech blog re/code who attended the event, Pascal felt out of place at the conference and reportedly said, “All the women here are doing incredible things in this world. All I did was get fired.”
Tina Brown, the conference’s moderator, interviewed Amy Pascal, who gave very direct answers. Pascal was asked about her reaction the moment she found out her personal emails were going to be leaked to the public.
“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.”
Prior to a fundraiser Amy Pascal was to attend with President Obama, she exchanged emails with producer Scott Rudin. The two traded racially insensitive jokes about movies they thought the President would want to see, including 12 Years a Slave and Ride Along.
Brown asked Amy about her reaction once the emails were out in the public eye.
“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… it was also strangely freeing. Because all of a sudden, that was just what it was.”
Pascal claimed her working relationships weren’t nearly as damaged as her public image.
“Angie didn’t care,” Pascal said, referencing leaked emails where Rudin called Angelina Jolie a “minimally talented spoiled brat.”
Added Pascal in the interview, “Everybody understood because we all live in this weird thing called Hollywood. If we all actually were nice, it wouldn’t work.”
Brown asked Amy Pascal what she’s taken away from this situation.
According to re/code, Pascal said, “You should always say exactly what you think directly to people all the time.”
When Brown wondered if movie stars are too sensitive for that kind of honesty, Pascal reportedly answered with brutal honesty of her own.
“They’re bottomless pits of need. You’ve never seen anything like it.”
The NY Times reports that a spokeswoman for Sony declined to comment.
What do you think of what Amy Pascal reportedly said in the interview? Do you believe Pascal stepped down or was fired?
[Image by Michael Buckner/Getty Images]