In the shocking exchange, high-ranking producer Rudin and Pascal — who is chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment — joked about President Obama's taste in movies, suggesting that he's likely a fan of films that feature predominantly African-American casts.
"Private emails between friends and colleagues written in haste and without much thought or sensitivity, even when the content of them is meant to be in jest, can result in offense where none was intended,” Rudin said in a statement. “I am deeply sorry and apologize for any injury they might have caused.”
It wasn't long before Pascal issued a statement of her own: "The content of my emails to Scott were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am,” she said. “Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended.”
It's been a nightmare week for the high-powered pair, after a massive hack into Sony's IT infrastructure lifted the curtain and revealed the ugly truth about what happens behind closed doors in Hollywood.
Reactions within the industry have been mixed. On Wednesday, actress Zoe Saldana tweeted: "Being #hacked sucks but not as much as being an actress at the mercy of these producers tongues. Now everyone knows! #rudin #pascal #email." Shonda Rhimes was equally incensed, tweeting "Calling Sony comments "racially insensitive remarks" instead of "racist"? U can put a cherry on a pile of sh*t but it don't make it a sundae."
Meanwhile, Judd Apatow approached the revelations from a different perspective. "Releasing private Sony e mails to hurt people is the same as releasing nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence," the director/producer tweeted. "Why are they ok to print?"
It's not yet clear what long-term effect the week's events will have on the careers of both Rudin and Pascal. But, in a predominantly white industry where money talks louder than just about anything else, we're not holding our breath. (Entertainment Weekly)