A week after suing AT&T and DirecTV for $10 billion for racial discrimination in contracting with 100% African-American-owned media, the National Association of African American Owned Media (NAAAOM) has seized on the racist emails sent out by Sony executives to threaten Sony with a boycott if Sony executives don’t sit down with NAAAOM to hammer out an agreement to do deals with Black-owned media.
“Let’s be 100% clear, the Sony emails are horrendous, very racist and completely unacceptable” said Mark DeVitre, President of NAAAOM, in a statement. “And we plan to hold Sony fully accountable.”
In the hacked emails mocking President Obama, producer Scott Rudin sent an email to Sony co-chairwoman Amy Pascal, asking about the president, “Would he like to finance some movies?”
Pascal replied, “I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked Django?”
To which Rudin responded: “12 Years.”
“Or The Butler. Or Think Like a Man?” Pascal answered back.
In another hacked email released this week, Pascal is asking fellow Sony executive Steve Mosko to look at a news release regarding a TV deal. Mosko responded by saying he was upset that he didn’t know about the deal.
“Once again, this will cause major confusion in the television group because he has never talked to me or anyone else in our group and I will have to be on the defensive with my own team and not sure what to say to outside world …” Mosko wrote back to Pascal.
Pascal responded that “everyone with half a brain these days” wants a television role and that because of that television was the new “Black baby,” referencing the fad of celebrities adopting Black children.
Both Rudin and Pascal have issued apologies after being savaged in media reports.
“The content of my emails to Scott were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am,” Pascal said in her apology. “Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended.”
The hacking of Sony’s email accounts began as a ploy to stop the release of the company’s newest film “The Interview,” which is set to premiere on Christmas Day. The movie follows leads Seth Rogen and James Franco as their characters try to take down Kim Jong Un of North Korea. The hackers are believed to be working for the North Korean government.
In the lawsuit lawsuit against AT&T and DirecTV, NAAAOM charged that the companies spend approximately $22 billion per year licensing channels and advertising with less than $3 million per year going to 100% African American owned media.
“We know that institutionalized racism is reflected in the lack of contracting with 100% African American owned media companies,” DeVitre’s statement said. “The numbers are indisputable. And therefore, we are requesting a meeting with Amy Pascal and CEO, Michael Lynton, and if we come away from that meeting and 100% African American owned media is not participating in a long term, significant agreement with Sony then all options are on the table including pickets, boycotts of all Sony products as well as an examination of our rights under the law.”