Sony Hack: How a Maureen Dowd Column Featuring Amy Pascal Was Written

Maureen Dowd - H - 2014
Associated Press

A leaked email exchange shows Dowd emailing the Sony exec: "i would make sure you look great and we’d check it all and do it properly"

A newly reported leaked email exchange details how a New York Times column featuring Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal was written by columnist Maureen Dowd

The correspondence, which was leaked as part of the massive Sony hack and reported by BuzzFeed's Matthew Zeitlin, also includes emails from Pascal's husband, former New York Times Hollywood writer Bernard Weinraub, who states that he would see the column before publication.

Dowd's email to Pascal on March 3, as Zeitlin reports, includes this sentence: “i would make sure you look great and we’d check it all and do it properly.”

According to an image of the email posted on BuzzFeed, Weinraub also emailed Pascal: "you can't tell single person that I'm seeing the column before it's's not p.r. people or [Sony Entertainment CEO Michael] Lynton or anyone should know."

On Friday, Dowd clarified in a statement provided by a New York Times spokesperson that she did not email Weinraub the column prior to publication.

"I never showed Bernie the column in advance or promised to show it," Dowd stated, later adding: "I emailed with Bernie and talked to him before I wrote the column in March, getting his perspective on the Hollywood old boys’ club and the progress of women. But I didn’t send him the column beforehand." 

In a statement to the Times public editor Margaret Sullivan, Weinraub also denied that he was sent the column in advance. "Maureen has never sent me a column," Weinraub told the Times. "She checked certain things with me, to see if they were right, but she didn’t read it to me and I didn’t see it."

As Zeitlin noted, a Dowd column March 4 titled "Frozen in a Niche?" detailed gender in Hollywood and featured quotes from Pascal. A New York Times spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment on the leaked email correspondence. 

The Sony hack, which began Nov. 24 by hackers titled the Guardians of Peace, has led to damaging emails, sensitive data and business information leaked from the studio.

In a conversation with The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, Pascal stated about the hack: "I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. You're being judged on things that you said in a 10-second frame that were stupid. And that's not my whole career and everything I've done. I'm concerned about that, but I'm also concerned about employees here who are being violated, and they're scared. They didn't do anything to deserve this. It's very unfair."

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10:35 am, Dec. 12 Updated with email from Dowd, earlier reported by Politico 

1:30 pm, Dec. 12 Updated with statement from Weinraub to the New York Times