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    Leaked Sony Emails Expose Hollywood's Racism

    The Hollywood film industry isn’t exactly known for diversity, in front of or behind the camera. This week a Sony executive’s leaked email exchange put racism right in the spotlight. 

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    Sony co-chair Amy Pascal traded with film producer Scott Rudin a series of cringe-inducing emails published by Buzzfeed on Wednesday night. In the emails, the two speculated about President Barack Obama’s taste in movies—with all of the films they suggested he might like (such as "Django Unchained," "12 Years a Slave," or "The Butler") featuring black actors and/or storylines relating to the oppression of black people.

    According to Variety and Deadline, both Pascal and Rudin have issued apologies.

    “I made a series of remarks that were meant only to be funny, but in the cold light of day, they are in fact thoughtless and insensitive — and not funny at all,” Rudin told Deadline.

    Pascal’s statement said that the content of the emails was “insensitive and inappropriate but … not an accurate reflection of who I am.”

    Rev. Al Sharpton, founder of the National Action Network, released a statement that said Pascal’s apology isn’t enough and calls on her to meet with black leaders. 

    “What is most troubling about these statements is that they reflect a continued lack of diversity in positions of power in major Hollywood studios,” Sharpton said.

    Popular screenwriterdirector, and producer Shonda Rhimes, who has TV hits from "Grey's Anatomy" to "Scandal" to "How to Get Away with Murder" offered her thoughts on Twitter.

    A UCLA study released earlier this year examined the significant under-representation of women and people of color on the big and small screens.

    With Sony clearly in the hot seat, comic Wyatt Cenac, known for his turn on "The Daily Show," joked on Twitter that it “might be a good time to start pitching Black superhero movies to Sony. Or really ANY movies with black people…”

    Earlier this week, hacked Sony emails also sparked a stir when sensitive messages about Angelina Jolie and other celebrities were made public.

    Some responses via Twitter:

     

    Image via Wikimedia

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