Amy Pascal

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Amy Pascal
Born Amy Beth Pascal
(1958-03-25) March 25, 1958 (age 56)
Los Angeles, California
Education Crossroads School
University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation Business executive
Spouse(s) Bernard Weinraub
Children 1
Parents Anthony H. Pascal
Barbara Pascal

Amy Beth Pascal (born March 25, 1958) is an American business executive. She has served as the Chairwoman of the Motion Pictures Group of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) since 2003 and co-Chairperson of SPE, including Sony Pictures Television, since 2006. She has overseen the production and distribution of many movies and television programs.

Early life and education[edit]

Pascal was born on March 25, 1958 in Los Angeles, California.[1] She is Jewish.[2] Her father, Anthony H. Pascal, was an economic researcher at the RAND Corporation who wrote about African American social inequality and the cost of AIDS.[1][3] Her mother, Barbara Pascal, was a librarian and art bookstore owner, Artworks.[1][4][5][6] Pascal attended Crossroads School in Santa Monica.[1][2] She then worked as a bookkeeper while getting her international relations degree at UCLA.[1][2][5][7]


Pascal started her career as a secretary working for producer Tony Garnett at the independent production company Kestrel Films.[8] From 1986 to 1987, she served as Vice President of Production at 20th Century Fox.[9]


Pascal joined Columbia Pictures in 1988, where she was responsible for the development of films including: Groundhog Day, Little Women, Awakenings, and A League of Their Own.[10] She left Columbia in 1994 and served for two years as the President of Production for Turner Pictures.[11] Pascal rejoined Columbia in 1996 as the studio’s President.[12]

Pascal was named Co-Chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment in September 2006.[13][14] She has also served as Chairman of SPE’s Motion Picture Group since December 2003.[15] Pascal and SPE’s Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton lead all of SPE’s lines of business, including: motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies.[16]

Pascal has overseen the production and distribution of films including the Spider-Man franchise; the James Bond films Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, the first Bond film to gross over $1 billion at the worldwide box office;[17] The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons; Sony Pictures Animation’s The Smurfs, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Hotel Transylvania; and Best Picture Oscar nominees American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Zero Dark Thirty, Moneyball and The Social Network.[18][19][20]

Pascal, along with Lynton, also oversees Sony Pictures Television (SPT), which produces and distributes television programming for multiple platforms in the U.S. and internationally.[21]

In 2013, Pascal was elected to the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[22]

She has clashed with investor Daniel S. Loeb, who accused both Pascal and Lynton of "poor financial controls."[6] Indeed, according to The Financial Times, "she employed an assistant who earned more than $250,000 a year, and had use of a private jet and other perks in keeping with Hollywood’s golden era rather than an age of austerity."[6]

Her contract with Sony expires in March 2015.[6]

Activities and awards[edit]

In 2001, Pascal was honored with the Women in Film’s Crystal Award, which recognizes those whose work has helped to expand the role of women in the entertainment industry.[23] Pascal has been included in The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women in Entertainment Power 100 list and Forbes’ ranking of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.[24][25] As of 2014, she was ranked as the 28th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, up from 36th in 2013.[26]


She serves on the Honorary Committee of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles.[27] She was awarded the 2008 Humanitarian Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.[28] Additionally, she has made charitable contributions to Teen Line.[29]

Sony Pictures Entertainment hack[edit]

On December 9, 2014, Sony's computer system was hacked by "Guardians of Peace" using Shamoon malware, which led to the theft of internal company documents. In subsequent news coverage Pascal and producer Scott Rudin were noted to have had an exchange about Pascal's upcoming encounter with President Barack Obama.[30][31][32] Pascal suggested the president would enjoy Django Unchained and The Butler, which deal with slavery in the United States and the pre-civil rights era.[33][34]

News reports branded the exchange as "racially insensitive,"[6][30][31][32][35] while other media outlets called it "racist."[6][36][37] Pascal responded by saying "the content of my emails were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am," adding "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.”[32][38]

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton suggested the apology was not sufficient, compared her to Donald Sterling, and called for more diversity in Sony's hiring pool.[39] An editorial by Sorkin in the New York Times denounced the media's focus on Pascal's communications and many other emails released by the hack as "Giving Material Aid to Criminals", saying "at least the hackers are doing it for a cause. The press is doing it for a nickel."[40] However, actress Lisa Kudrow suggested Pascal should have known better, adding, "Don’t write anything you don’t want broadcast."[41] Billionaire real estate investor Donald Trump suggested she should resign "for stupidity reasons."[42]

Furthermore, Color of Change, a civil rights organization, launched a petition calling for Sony to fire her, arguing, "Pascal’s comments are confirmation of the manipulative, exploitative relationship corporations like Sony have with Black folks."[43][44][45] They added, ""We must hold Pascal accountable here; not just for her horrendous comments, but also for her role at the helm of a corporate agenda that views Black America as one big, lucrative joke."[43]

Personal life[edit]

Pascal married Bernard Weinraub, a former film-business reporter for The New York Times and playwright, in 1997.[5] They reside in Los Angeles, and have a son.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e Elsa Bertet, Amy Pascal timeline, Variety, September 6, 2007
  2. ^ a b c Jewish Women's Archive: "Amy Pascal" retrieved December 12, 2014
  3. ^ RAND Corporation: Anthony H. Pascal
  4. ^ RAND Corporation: Anthony H. Pascal
  5. ^ a b c Amy B. Pascal, Bernard Weinraub, The New York Times, August 10, 1997
  6. ^ a b c d e f Matthew Garrahan, Amy Pascal: A studio boss caught in real-life thriller, The Financial Times, December 19, 2014
  7. ^ a b Miller, Daniel (January 15, 2014). "Sony Pictures' awards season takes pressure off Amy Pascal". Los Angeles Times. 
  8. ^ Tim Arango (October 24, 2009). "Sony’s Version of Tracy and Hepburn". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ Finke, Nikki (December 7, 2010). "Sony Reups Amy Pascal For 5 More Years". 
  10. ^ "Amy Pascal Extends Long-Term Employment Agreement With Sony Pictures". Sony Pictures. December 7, 2010. 
  11. ^ Alan Citron (August 25, 1994). "Pascal Named President of Production at Turner". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ Bertet, Elsa (September 6, 2007). "Amy Pascal timeline". Variety. 
  13. ^ Michael White (September 6, 2006). "Sony Names Pascal Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Unit (Update1)". Bloomberg. 
  14. ^ "Amy Pascal". Sony Pictures. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  15. ^ Finke, Nikki (March 4, 2007). "Sony's Amy Pascal To Be Honored at Opening Night Gala". Films News and Views. 
  16. ^ James Gilmore (October 7, 2009). "PGA Honors Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal with Milestone Award". Producers Guild of America. 
  17. ^ McClintock, Pamela (December 30, 2012). "Box Office Milestone: Daniel Craig's 'Skyfall' Crosses $1 Billion Worldwide". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  18. ^ Ujala Sehgal (February 26, 2011). "OSCARS 2011: Here Are The Best Picture Nominees!". Business Insider. 
  19. ^ "Oscar nominations 2012: Is 'Moneyball' the best sports movie ever?". Los Angeles Times. January 24, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Oscars winners and nominees 2013: Complete list". Los Angeles Times. February 25, 2013. 
  21. ^ Orr, Bernard (December 7, 2010). "Sony extends contract of studio head Amy Pascal". Reuters. 
  22. ^ Kilday, Gregg (July 15, 2013). "Film Academy's New Board of Governors Includes Sony's Amy Pascal and Filmmaker Alex Gibney". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  23. ^ "Past Recipients Crystal Award". Women in Film. Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  24. ^ "THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100". The Hollywood Reporter. December 7, 2011. 
  25. ^ "The 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  26. ^ "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  27. ^ Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles: Honorary Committee
  28. ^ Simon Wiesenthal Center to Honor Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group with its 2008 Humanitarian Award, Simon Wiesenthal Center, May 2, 2008
  29. ^ Rachel Abrams, Power of Women: Amy Pascal Supports Teenagers in Crisis With Teen Line, Variety, October 1, 2013
  30. ^ a b Mike Fleming, Jr., Scott Rudin Apologizes After Leak Of Sony’s Hacked Racially Insensitive E-Mails On Barack Obama, Deadline, December 11, 2014
  31. ^ a b Variety Staff, Sony’s Amy Pascal Apologizes for Obama Emails, Variety, December 11, 2014
  32. ^ a b c Christopher Rosen, Scott Rudin & Amy Pascal Apologize After Racially Insensitive Emails About Obama Leak, The Huffington Post, December 11, 2014
  33. ^ Matthew Zeitlin (2014-12-10). "Scott Rudin On Obama’s Favorite Movies: “I Bet He Likes Kevin Hart”". Buzzfeed. 
  34. ^ Hayley Tsukayama (2014-12-11). "A Sony exec cracks jokes about Obama’s race, and eight more bruising revelations from the Sony leak". Washington Post. 
  35. ^ Dockterman, Eliana. "Seth Rogen Thanks Sony Chief for Making The Interview". Times Magazine. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  36. ^ Chris Sparho, Sony employee alleges rampant workplace racism in leaked email days after studio head Amy Pascal's racist email exchange about President Obama went public, The Daily Mail, December 13, 2014
  37. ^ Sandy Cohen, Sony's Amy Pascal under fire for racist remarks, Detroit News, December 12, 2014
  38. ^ Brooks Barnes, Michael Cieply, Sony Film Executives Apologize for Racially Tinged Emails About Obama, The New York Times, December 11, 2014
  39. ^ Colin Campbell, Al Sharpton Compares Sony Exec To Racist Ex-NBA Owne,Business Insider, December 11, 2014
  40. ^ Aaron Sorkin (2014-12-14). "The Sony Hack and the Yellow Press". New York Times. 
  41. ^ Maane Khatchatourian, Lisa Kudrow on Sony Emails: ‘Don’t Write Anything You Don’t Want Broadcast’, Variety, December 13, 2014
  42. ^ David Martosko, Donald Trump says Sony Pictures co-chief Amy Pascal should 'resign for stupidity reasons' after she sought help from Rev. Al Sharpton over racist emails revealed in hack, The Daily Mail, December 16, 2014
  43. ^ a b Aaron Couch, Civil Rights Group Asks Sony to Fire Amy Pascal Over Leaked Emails, The Hollywood Reporter, December 18, 2014
  44. ^ Antonia Molloy, Sony hacking: Civil rights group calls for Amy Pascal to be fired over 'racially-charged' leaked email exchange about Barack Obama, The Independent, December 18, 2014
  45. ^ ColorOfChange: Tell Sony: Fire Amy Pascal!

External links[edit]