Sharpton said that Pascal’s repeated apologies were noted, but that the civil rights leaders told her structural problems continue to exist in Hollywood.
“We repeated how outraged we were and that there is a comfort of racial insensitivity in Hollywood that reflects the exclusionary dealings of Hollywood where no blacks are in a position to greenlight a movie deal, no blacks are on boards and Hollywood does very little business with blacks,” Sharpton said.
Pascal asked for guidance on policy changes that could improve diversity within Hollywood, according to Sharpton, who said the meeting ended with everyone agreeing to meet again early next week to hammer out policy recommendations. Sony declined to comment on the meeting.
Pascal asked for the meeting after apologizing last week for an email exchange with movie producer Scott Rudin, in which the two casually bantered about what movies they thought President Obama might enjoy. In a series of back and forth emails, they rattled off a series of films starring black actors and created by black directors.
“Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?” Pascal wrote, referring to last year’s historical slave drama. She also pointed to “The Butler” and “Think Like a Man.”
Pascal and Rudin have apolozied for their remarks. In a statement, the Sony co-chair said the emails were “not an accurate reflection of who I am.”
The private emails were stolen by hackers and leaked to the public. U.S. intelligence officials have determined that the hacker group, which calls itself Guardians of Peace, is linked to the North Korea government. The Sony movie is a satire about a planned assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Sharpton said that he and others have still not decided whether to call for Pascal’s resignation. He said some in Hollywood, including movie maker Tyler Perry, have called on him to defend the Sony leader.