Just nearly a week after Sony hackers released racially insensitive and derogatory emails about Barack Obama, Kevin Hart and Angelina Jolie, a new email exchange has now surfaced regarding Denzel Washington.
In the exchange written to Sony Chairman Michael Lynton, a producer suggested that the Academy Award winner will not sell movies internationally because he is Black and that the international market is racist. The email came after the studio released Washington’s latest film, The Equalizer.
“No, I am not saying The Equalizer should not have been made or that African American actors should not have been used (I personally think Denzel is the best actor of his generation),” the producer wrote.
“Casting him is saying we’re ok with a double if the picture works,” the email, obtained by Radar Online read. “He’s reliable at the domestic [box office], safe, but has not had a huge success in years. I believe whenever possible the non event pictures, extra ‘bets’ should have a large inherent upside and be made for the right price. Here there isn’t a large inherent upside.”
The film went on to gross $191 million at theaters worldwide, with 47% of the ticket sales coming from outside of the U.S, but according to the producer, the motion picture audience overseas is racist.
“In general pictures with an African American lead don’t play well overseas,” the producer wrote. “But Sony sometimes seems to disregard that a picture must work well internationally to both maximize returns and reduce risk, especially pics with decent size budgets.”
The Sony hacks, that started on November 24, has become the largest cyber attack of a U.S. corporation ever.
HipHollywood reached out to Washington’s rep, but no word back.