Published On: Wed, Dec 24th, 2014

Only a Miracle, Not Amy Pascal, Can Save Sony

Premiere Of Columbia Pictures' "The Interview" - Red Carpet

As if the nasty comments and personal information that surfaced during the hacking scandal weren’t enough to severely compromise Sony’s reputation and its business, the company could end up being edged out of filmaking, according to Moviepilot. Its kneejerk impulse to pull “The Interview” a film about an assassination attempt against Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s dictator was heckled by many, so they backtracked again, and allowed the film to be released. Looking chicken and inconsistent wasn’t the worst of it. They blamed the theaters for not wanting to show it it when it was Sony’s own decision. The independent theaters were the first to put it back on the agenda, so that left the larger theaters looking like they were as chicken as Sony. Then Sony burns the independent theaters by not giving them credit and demanding a better split.

The other issue is that Sony has the Interview on Day on Date VOD release, from which it gets a larger share, 70/30, compared to 50/50 that it makes when a film is released in theaters first. This decision will hurt Sony’s reputation with cinemas and may make them unwilling to show their films in the future.

And then there are casting decisions. While Daniel Craig is the most popular James Bond among audience, Amy Pascal insists that Idris Elba, who has never had a starring role, play Bond shows that she is out of touch with the audiences. In addition she has alienated many actors through her leaked correspondences and her casting decisions.

Just as Fox News was having a hissy fit over black Santas this time last year, Rush Limbaugh is furious, as if it is personal, that a black actor is being considered by Pascal to play James Bond. He said, “James Bond is a fictional character, obviously. But he is white and he is Scottish. I know it’s racist to even point this out. But the franchise needs to get with it. We had 50 years of white Bonds because Bond was white.” He says it would be tantamount to casting Kelsey Grammar as Nelson Mandela or George C. Scott (deceased, so that would be really weird) as Colin Powell.

Well, whatever one thinks of what Rush Limbaugh has to say, more problematic than Bond’s race is Pascal’s decision to cast Idris Elba rather than a more popular actor like Denzel Washington, if Bond is going to be black.

And then there is the fallout from the leaks. The company will need $70 to $100 million to repair their IT systems, will have to pay huge amounts in lawsuits for those who felt they were defamed by the emails.

It is likely Sony may get out of the film business with all of these headaches.

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