Amy Pascal spoke publicly yesterday for the first time since stepping down as the chief of Sony Pictures, Recode reports. At the Women in the World conference in San Francisco, Pascal talked openly, if vaguely, about the Sony hacks, pay inequality, and needy Hollywood stars.
"What am I doing here?"
The conversation, moderated by former Newsweek editor Tina Brown, started off slowly as Pascal questioned the need for a public discussion. "Everyone knows everything about me," she said. "What am I doing here?"
That's a fair enough question, but Pascal is not out of the public eye yet. She announced this week that she'll join the production team for Sony and Marvel's upcoming Spider-Man series, and is also expected to work on a version of Cleopatra and a live-action Barbie movie.
Pascal's thoughts on the Sony hacks were both unsurprising and oddly dismissive. She addressed racist comments she made about Barack Obama, calling the media's reaction to them "horrible," but noted that having her private discussions leaked to the public was "strangely freeing."
"I run a business. People want to work for less money, I pay them less money."
She waved off mean comments made in her emails — like calling Angelina Jolie a "minimally talented spoiled brat" — because hey, it's Hollywood. "Everybody understood because we all live in this weird thing called Hollywood," she said. "If we all actually were nice, it wouldn’t work." As for accusations of pay inequality, Pascal says that's just how the game is played. "I run a business. People want to work for less money, I pay them less money."
And anyway, it's almost impossible to satisfy a Hollywood star: "They’re bottomless pits of need," she said. "You’ve never seen anything like it."
What did Pascal learn from the hacks? "You should always say exactly what you think directly to people all the time." Okay then.