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The Sony Hack Really Revealed The Prevalence of White Privilege in Hollywood

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 5.00.56 PMThe Sony hacking scandal did more than just expose a few offensive emails and the gender pay gaps in Hollywood. What it really did was expose Hollywood’s acceptance of white privilege in the worst way.

That was the take of writer Eric Deggans on NPR.

Many of the emails showcased Sony co-chair Amy Pascal having racially insensitive exchanges with fellow colleagues commenting on everyone from the President to adopted African babies.

She later apologized for her comments, saying in a statement:

“The content of my emails were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am,” she said, adding that “although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended.”

After feeling the heat from her comments, Pascal reached out Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson “to discuss a healing process,” as she told The Hollywood Reporter.

But unfortunately after meeting with Pascal, Sharpton said, “The climate and environment of Hollywood only confirms the type of language that was used in those emails.” Sharpton also tweeted that the emails “show a cultural blindness.”

To combat this, a coalition of civil rights groups pledged to work with her and Sony.

“What these emails really reveal is how little Hollywood is willing to challenge the basic structures, practices and thinking that make it such a white-dominated industry,” Deggans wrote on NPR. “This seems to happen even when there’s evidence that breaking down those walls will actually make better films and more money.”

He went on to express how, though these emails might not really, as Pascal says, “reflect” who she is, they do reflect something larger.

“I also believe these messages are an accurate reflection of Hollywood’s attitudes about diversity, where assumptions are made without proof and even the president can find himself at the butt end of a racist joke between the most powerful people in town,” he wrote.

Instead of meeting with civil rights leaders, Hollywood should put their money where their mouth is and change things, he poses.

“The best way big shots like Pascal and [Scott] Rudin can prove they aren’t the people depicted in these emails is to challenge the status quo and insist on results. Break down any rule or practice that hinders bringing more diversity to executive suites, producing and directing ranks, and casting offices,” he said.

What people are saying

16 thoughts on “The Sony Hack Really Revealed The Prevalence of White Privilege in Hollywood

  1. This will do nothing to change Hollywood's minds about us blacks,or about diversity as a whole. Blacks should break away from this system and try to focus on unity and entrepreneurship.

  2. This will do nothing to change Hollywood's minds about us blacks,or about diversity as a whole. Blacks should break away from this system and try to focus on unity and entrepreneurship.

  3. Tony Holland says:

    I dont think breaking away is an option. I mean it is, but it really isn't. To use a MAFIA saying "they want to be able to "dip their beaks into it."

  4. Sharon Hausey-Figures says:

    Hollywood is what it is. And it will take more than a few stolen emails to change the deeply entrenched racism and sexism that prevails in Hollywood. It would take a complete restructuring of every studio there is and we all know that ain't going to happen.

  5. Patricia Lafayette M Ed says:

    Sony is simply a reflection of all American businesses. They got caught with their pants down and now that their racism is showing they pretend that oh wow we never noticed that we were an ALL WHITE administrative company, never realized that we don't hire or promote non-Whites, never realized that non-whites actors were not getting roles or full promotion of their movies. Now, simply change the name and insert any other company name and notice that they all say the same lies when they are caught discriminating against us. They are not interested in equality of employment or opportunity and striking down affirmative action allows them to take federal money and get away with not hiring women, non-whites, and people with disabilities. Thanks SCOTUS. Nice!

  6. Vic Stafford says:

    Keep in mind this is only SONY. Same attitude more than likely exists at every other media corporation in America. The cat is out of the bag on this one. There's really nothing they will do about cultural insensitivity because they enjoy making money the way they always have.

  7. Smeek Meek says:

    Whatever, they meant every word they said.

  8. Why is everyone acting surprised is beyond me.There are no countries with a white majority that respect or like Black folks.None.What you see all day on tv, in newsroom, in resturant is only hypocrisy and political correctness.When there are no Black people around them, White folks openly express to one another what has been normal to them since they were born. " Their genetic hate and contempt for anyone with Black or brown skin regardless of what position they hold in society.Black Americans waste so much time and energy trying to fit in and be accepted in a world that hates them and will never respect them.Blacks folks need to break away from it. Take a lesson from Asian folks in this country.You don't see them marching and protesting do you? They have create a world whitin a world, one where their success and hapiness does not depend on white people.They understand that to White folks, race is everything and the only thing.Whether is in Europe or here in America, looking back at the last 500 years of history beetween those 2 races, one can only conclude that they were never meant to live side by side.And franlky, even if the roles were reversed there are no indications that Black folks would treat white folks in a better way.Humans from all accross the world still have a tribal mentality that judges you from your appearance.No law or legislation will make white folks change the way they think.Cos this is the way they have been thinking for the last 5000 years.

  9. Farntella Graham says:

    schizophrenic mofos: they tell us to get over slavery and stop living in the past, but everytime I turn they come'in out with a new slave movie.

  10. Zay Czech says:

    Hollywood was made for whites by whites and will remain white if you mad at them make your movies, Atlanta is a fertile soil for black to set up their own movie empire. Stop begging for respect and demand it by creating your own movie empire. Black have the money, the talent and the intellect. Black spend 1.1 trillion dollars a year, where did the money go?

  11. Zay Czech says:

    If you are a customer and you get no respect stop spending you dollars there and find another place where you are respected and spend your 1.1 trillion dollars your spent in 2014. it works in the hood to, the disrespectful store owner will eventually pack and go if no one is buying their stuff.

  12. Zay Czech says:

    Blacks need to stop begging for respect and take it, by creating their own.

  13. Gregory Bell says:

    Preach! I love it! Game recognize game! Be blessed !

  14. Slick Nick says:


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