*Amy Pascal, the Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman who joked about President Barack Obama’s race in an email exchange exposed by hackers, is stepping down from her position at the company, according to reports.
However, she will launch a new production venture at the studio beginning in May.
“I have spent almost my entire professional life at Sony Pictures and I am energized to be starting this new chapter based at the company I call home,” Pascal said in a statement. “I am leaving the studio in great hands. I am so proud of what we have all done together and I look forward to a whole lot more.”
After Sony was hacked, embarrassing emails from the company’s servers flooded the Internet, causing public humiliation for Pascal and others. Her leaked exchange with producer Scott Rudin made headlines for the pair’s racially-insensitive jokes about President Obama’s film preferences.
In the messages, Pascal allegedly asked Rudin for suggestions on what she should discuss with Obama at a “stupid” fundraising breakfast hosted by DreamWorks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg, a big Democratic donor, in November 2013.
Rudin, 56, whose producing credits include “Moneyball,” “Captain Phillips” and “The Social Network,” asked whether Obama would like to help finance any films.
“I doubt it,” Pascal responded. “Should I ask him if he liked ‘Django [Unchained]?’”
Rudin replied: “’12 Years [a Slave],’” to which Pascal brought up a series of other films starring African-Americans.
“Or ‘The Butler.’ Or ‘Think Like a Man?’”
“’Ride-along,’” responded Rudin. “I bet he likes Kevin Hart.”