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Sony hires Olivia Pope's real-life inspiration in 'Interview' fallout

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JUDY SMITH
Lisa Lake/Getty Images

Consider it handled, Sony.

Sony has hired Judy Smith, the woman who inspired Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope, to help respond to backlash the studio has received for canceling The Interview, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

According to the website for her firm, Smith & Company, she’s worked with a range of high-profile clients in both D.C. and Hollywood including Monica Lewinsky, Wesley Snipes, NFL quarterback Michael Vick. She’s also served as a communications adviser for several big-name corporations including Walmart and United Healthcare.

Sony has been criticized major names in Hollywood and, most recently, President Barack Obama, who said he thought they “made a mistake,” saying “I would have told them, do not get into a pattern in which you are intimidated by these kind of criminal attacks.”

In response, Sony issued the following statement on Friday:

Sony Pictures Entertainment is and always has been strongly committed to the First Amendment. For more than three weeks, despite brutal intrusions into our company and our employees’ personal lives, we maintained our focus on one goal: getting the film The Interview released. Free expression should never be suppressed by threats and extortion.

The decision not to move forward with the December 25 theatrical release of The Interview was made as a result of the majority of the nation’s theater owners choosing not to screen the film. This was their decision.

Let us be clear – the only decision that we have made with respect to release of the film was not to release it on Christmas Day in theaters, after the theater owners declined to show it. Without theaters, we could not release it in the theaters on Christmas Day. We had no choice. After that decision, we immediately began actively surveying alternatives to enable us to release the movie on a different platform. It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.