Talking with Tina Brown, the outgoing Sony chair opened up about the hack that got her “fired,” paying Jennifer Lawrence less than her “American Hustle” colleagues, actors being “bottomless pits of need,” and “this weird thing called Hollywood” where niceness is no asset.
Here are the highlights from their conversation, in which Pascal refused to apologize for what she felt was doing her job.
On her presence at the Women in the World conference: “All the women here are doing incredible things in this world. All I did was get fired.”
On her and Scott Rudin’s email exchanges about Obama and being accused of racism:
“It was horrible. That was horrible. … As a woman, what I did was control how everybody felt about themselves and about me … and there was this horrible moment when I realized there was absolutely nothing I could do about whether I’d hurt people, whether I’d betrayed people. I couldn’t protect anyone. … It was horrible because that’s how I did my job.”
On paying Lawrence less money than her male counterparts:
“I’ve paid [Jennifer Lawrence] a lot more money since then, I promise you. … Here’s the problem: I run a business. People want to work for less money, I pay them less money. … Women shouldn’t work for less money. They should know what they’re worth. Women shouldn’t take less. ‘Stop, you don’t need the job that bad.'”
On movie stars:
“They’re bottomless pits of need. You’ve never seen anything like it. … [sarcastically] They are so great. They’re this magical thing that no one else can be. They’re filled with the need to be loved… but that’s because they’re magical.”
On how the hacked emails ultimately didn’t damage her professional relationships too badly:
“Everybody understood because we all live in this weird thing called Hollywood. … If we all actually were nice, it wouldn’t work.” Even after it was revealed that Rudin called Angelina Jolie a “minimally talented spoiled brat,” Pascal shrugged, “Angie didn’t care.”
Ultimately, Pascal seemed most angry at the media. Expressing surprise at how the hack was covered, she fumed, “People found reasons that going through my trash and printing it was an okay thing to do. They found a way to justify that. And they have to live with that.”