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Sony Pictures’ Amy Pascal steps down

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MUMBAI: After being targeted by hacking group called ‘Guardians of Peace’, linked closely to North Korea, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Amy Pascal has decided to step down after her emails and conversations were made public. She will be resigning as the co-chairwoman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and chairwoman of Sony Motion Picture Group.

Seen as one of Hollywood’s top most female executives, she has been with the Group since 1996, when she was named as the president of the Columbia Pictures Unit, post her stint with Turner Pictures. Before joining Turner she was with Sony since 1988. Equating the company as her home, Pascal in a statement said, “I have spent almost my entire professional life at Sony Pictures, and I am energized to be starting this new chapter based at the company I call home,”

The embarrassing emails contained her leaked conversations that had her discussing with other executives to halt the release of the humour based film, The Interview. The film is based on the assassination of North Korea’s current leader Kim Jong-un. Not limited to just that, the emails shared in the cyberspace also saw her cracking racially insensitive jokes with producer Scott Rudin about the viewing habits of US President Barack Obama. They both joked that the President’s favourite movies were black themed cinema like Django Unchained and 12 Years A Slave.

Pascal later apologised in a statement which read, “The content of my emails to Scott were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am. Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologise to everyone who was offended.”

Pascal who was worked with the studio for close to two decades, will now begin a production company that will see its launch in May 2015. The studio has decided to stand by her as it will fund her company for at least four years and will retain the distribution rights. Her successor is yet to be named.

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