Scott Rudin & Amy Pascal, Sony Pictures

What was the accusation?

On November 24, 2014, Sony Pictures experienced a major cyberattack that leaked vast corporate data (e-mail correspondence, product information, etc.) to the public. Among the leaked material were e-mail exchanges between producer Scott Rudin and Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal which contained (among other things) less than flattering words about Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and facetious speculation on U.S. President Barack Obama’s movie tastes. The release of these private exchanges prompted both executives to issue formal apologies that sought to clarify the context of their remarks, offset negative public reaction, and restore their images. 

Key Apologia Strategies:





Scott Rudin: “Private emails between friends and colleagues written in haste and without much thought or sensitivity, even when the content of them is meant to be in jest, can result in offense where none was intended. 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. To anybody I’ve offended, I’m profoundly and deeply sorry, and I regret and apologize for any injury they might have caused.”

Amy Pascal: “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 apologize to everyone who was offended.”


Barnes, B., & Cieply, M. (2014, December 11). Sony film executives apologize for racially tinged emails about Obama. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Producer Scott Rudin apologizes for Jolie, Obama comments. (2014, December 11). CBS News. Retrieved from

Grisham, L. (2014, December 18). Timeline: North Korea and the Sony Pictures hack. USA Today. Retrieved from

Puente, M. (2014, December 12). Rudin, Pascal sorry for racially insensitive e-mails. USA Today. Retrieved from