The Messy Media Ethics Behind The Sony Hacks

The gray area where the leaked information resides — between public and private, prurient and illuminating — might not be the exception, but the new normal.

Sony / Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

In the past few days, I’ve seen the email addresses of dozens of stars. I’ve seen the Amazon order histories of executives. I’ve seen the carefully laid-out breast-feeding diet of a senior VP. I’ve seen the ebullience and joy with which a famous director and the head of Sony talk about the future of filmmaking. It’s inarguably juicy, but what fascinated me more were all the documents over which my media studies colleagues — a group of which I was, until leaving for BuzzFeed, an active member — would salivate.

I saw memos that could alter global film market research, I read interactions between stars and producers, and about stars and their value, that could challenge or substantiate the claims of my own dissertation, with its focus on the history of the gossip industry. Thousands of documents, as yet unexplored and unreported. Where others see the potential scandal, I see scholarship.

But even as I sift through the latest release of hacked information, the overarching questions remain: What differentiates the leak and publication of private documents of a privately held company from the publication of the Jennifer Lawrence nude photos? Are reporters simply working as tools in a possible North Korean cyberwar? Or are journalists fulfilling their democratic role of disseminating information that serves the public interest?

This sort of hack is wholly unprecedented. Other massive, global companies have been hacked, but none so extensively (the hackers claim to have over 100 terabytes of information) and none with the visibility — and explicit connection to our everyday lives, in the form of television, movies, and music — of Sony. The entire business world is fueled by secrecy, but the sort of secrecy kept behind Hollywood’s closed doors, notorious for its power plays, publicist machinations, and bloated egos — that’s sexy.

These leaks are fascinating to academics, certainly, who must balance the hunger for an inside understanding of an industry which, over the last 50 years, has become increasingly unwilling to share any information, historical or otherwise, with ethical debates about the provenance of those materials. But the leaks are also incredibly juicy for journalists, who have also been working their way through the massive piles of internal documents, emails, and marketing department PowerPoints made available through a massive data breach of Sony’s internal server.

Which is part of why it’s so difficult to parse the ethics of reading, interpreting, and ultimately reporting on these documents: Whose agenda does their publication further? But what is the role of journalists if not to take that which is “new” and present it for readers, asking them to make their own judgments?

The answers to these questions, and the way these documents are handled and discussed in the weeks and years to come, aren’t limited to the journalism ethics classroom. These documents are neither the JLaw nude photos nor are they Snowden’s cache of national security documents. They’re not the product of angry teenage boys nor are they the work of a politically driven whistleblower. Yet when it comes to future handling of such information, the gray area in which they reside — between public and private, between prurient and illuminating — might not be the exception, but the new normal. The stance that journalists and academics take on these documents has the potential to guide our nation’s understanding of how we treat the compromise of the 21st century’s most valuable commodity, for both individuals and corporations: privacy.

I’m looking at these documents with the same eyes with which I pored over the collections of David O. Selznick, the greatest independent producer of classic Hollywood, or silent star Gloria Swanson, who preserved all correspondence, negotiations, contracts, letters to lawyers, and so much more from her 60-year career. Those collections, like those of United Artists and early Warner Bros., are housed at archives, where scholars travel to sift through them with white gloves, transforming stacks of musty telegraphs into works that function as our dominant understanding of the way the industry functioned, failed, and excelled.

But those archives, like most archives, were donated. Some are stripped of incriminating materials, but archives are generally given to institutions with the understanding that they will be used to illuminate history. In that, they are the inverse of the Sony hack, in which a group of hackers used illegal means to indiscriminately release the contents of Sony’s internal server. Selznick never had his correspondence leaked while he was filming Gone With the Wind; it was only decades later, when Selznick himself had been gone for years, that scholars began to use his archives to make sense of the operation of Hollywood. That sort of archival work is considered “history” and, as such, deemed legitimate, ethical, safe — even if the findings did suggest that most Hollywood executives were megalomaniacal assholes.

As the sheer breadth and depth of the hack started to come into focus last week, the first concern was for privacy, especially over the release of Social Security numbers of past and present Sony employees. Journalists here at BuzzFeed News and elsewhere reported the few pertinent specifics and character of the data released, while obscuring the most invasive information; some of the findings were banal (celebrity aliases, horrible HR PowerPoints, the script for a recruiting video); others were more incendiary (a potential gender pay gap). The experience of sorting through the labyrinth of internal data wasn’t unlike trying to look through the matrix of folders from an old, discarded computer: lots of chaff, very little wheat.

But there was enough reason to report. The legal position was straightforward: These documents were obtained through illegal means, but accessing them is not, in fact, illegal; reporting on documents made available through the hack, and even excerpting from them, are covered under both the First Amendment and Fair Use, which protects the reproduction of copyrighted content under the aegis of “enriching” or educating the general public.

The journalistic position was also fairly straightforward: As Fusion’s Kevin Roose explained on MSNBC, he and his editors employed a “civic good balancing test,” opting not “to publish things that are damaging to people unnecessarily,” such as Social Security or phone numbers, and focus on the potential to serve “a civic good.” “What you have in the Sony hack is an enormous data set of what people in one of the largest studios in Hollywood are paid,” Roose told host Chris Hayes, “and when you break that data down and use it as the basis for analysis, you end up with some really interesting … valuable, and important to democracy and industry.”

Here, Roose articulates the philosophy under which most journalists were exploring the hacked documents. Granted, releasing the amount BeyoncĂ© and Jay Z were paid for a cameo in The Interview, as Roose did on Dec. 4, may toe that line of “civic good,” but few were objecting to the reportage of the leak on an ethical level.

That changed on Tuesday, when Defamer published an incendiary email exchange between Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy Pascal and producer Scott Rudin. Rudin is known throughout Hollywood for his abrasive attitude and management style. That said, the emails went viral not because Scott Rudin is a dick, but because he was a dick about one of the biggest stars in the world, calling her a “minimally spoiled brat” and “a camp event.”

Reading this exchange feels like pulling back the glossy veneer of the constant publicity that guides all Hollywood interactions; the exchange feels real, raw, and revelatory in the same way that the leaked elevator surveillance footage of Solange Knowles does: People are their realest selves when they don’t think the world is watching.

The schadenfreude directed toward Pascal and Rudin, however, has been met with resistance. On Twitter, film journalist and historian Mark Harris told “everyone who’s gloating over stolen emails” that “you must all feel very, very secure about your own correspondence.” Harris’ tweet articulated the strain of unease in the aftermath of the Defamer post, and coincided with increased calls to treat these leaks in the same way that journalists called others to treat the September hack of celebrity nudes: as an unethical and distasteful invasion of privacy.

The difference, of course, is that one hack is aimed to exploit and humiliate young women (and is a sex crime), and the other is aimed at a multibillion-dollar international media conglomerate. One targeted individuals’ private iCloud servers; the other was directed at servers at a place of employment. The women whose photos were hacked might have been celebrities, but they were vulnerable in a way that Sony, for all of its current woes, simply is not.

As for claims about violating the privacy of Amy Pascal, whose inbox was leaked in its entirety: Thus far, all published email exchanges relate not to Pascal, the individual, but to her capacity as co-chair of Sony Pictures (with the exception of a personal exchange between Pascal and her husband about his friendship with Nikki Finke, who had just viciously gone after her). These leaks thus focus on Pascal’s role as a controlling force behind the release of a high percentage of the entertainment available across the world today, whose comments and viewpoints have impact on the way we see our world reproduced for us on the screen — her role, in other words, as a public figure.

The same goes for Scott Rudin, who, while not directly affiliated with Sony, is behind many of the most successful and prestigious movies of the last decade. To say that his racist thoughts on the types of movies that Obama would like is not important is tantamount to denying an author’s political views have an impact on the books he writes. Rudin has the power to make the movies with the biggest budgets and the highest profiles; his attitudes toward race — and the way he treats others — isn’t the only reason that the logic of mainstream Hollywood remains insidiously and enduringly racist, but it cannot be discounted.

These conversations were private, but the art they produced has very public, if often sublimated, ramifications. The Lawrence hacks don’t contribute to any understanding save what Lawrence’s breasts look like. The Sony hacks speak loudly, and at length, about contemporary film industry and its generation of popular culture.

Illuminating Rudin’s assumptions about Obama’s film preferences is one thing, but does that legitimize publishing correspondence about the making of Cleopatra? “I believe people have the right to conduct business correspondence privately; it’s not as if criminality is being exposed,” Harris explained to me in an email. Ultimately, publicizing their correspondence just “makes it LESS likely that people who make movies will speak candidly to each other, let alone to journalists and scholars.”

Indeed, in the wake of these leaks, one can imagine just how frantically other Hollywood studios are scrambling to bolster their security measures. The question remains, then, as to how journalists and scholars make use of the existing material in a way that doesn’t simply carry out or validate the aims of these or any hackers.

For Gawker Editor-in-Chief Max Read, who’s overseen much of that publication’s handling of the documents, items like the emails are “newsworthy documents that were publicly available,” and “the idea that a journalist should refrain from publishing them because it might ‘validate the hackers’ actions/aims’ is genuinely incomprehensible.” Thomas Schatz, author of Genius of the System and one of the academics most familiar with the challenges of doing industrial history both with and without the benefit of the archive, told me that “I guess my bottom line is that we should welcome the opportunity to look behind the curtain.”

The information is out there; it’s not disappearing. It’s a question, then, of the avenue it takes from here.

When an academic goes to the archive, she spends days, even years, squinting at illegible handwriting and sifting through correspondence, combining her macro knowledge of the industry with the micro revelations of accumulated documents. A reporter doesn’t have the privilege of that sort of lengthy contemplation, but nor does she have the necessity to sort by hand: The Sony documents arrived in digital form, and fully searchable. To find a potential scandal, all you need to know are the right keywords, and a cascade of controversy appears onscreen.

This ease of accessibility — and the sheer amount of information conveyed via digital correspondence — points to the larger issues undergirding these ethical discussions. They’re variations on the same discussions we’ve had about WikiLeaks, and Edward Snowden, “The Fappening,” and the rise of “vigilante journalism” and its exposure of private (but not always guilty) individuals, all hinging on the way to handle the sheer amount of private data each of us produces on a daily basis.

The new reality is that journalists simply do not own the news cycle: Even if Gawker, BuzzFeed News, and Fusion decided to stop covering it, others would take up the mantle. The new role of journalists, for better or for worse, isn’t as gatekeepers, but interpreters: If they don’t parse it, others without the experience, credentials, or mindfulness toward protecting personal information certainly will.

As Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, told me, “These aren’t new challenges — some of the greatest revelations in American history have come from sources with dubious or outright destructive motives. What’s more, we don’t imagine that our jobs are, or could imaginably be, to shield our readers from information that is widely available online, but rather to interpret it, explain it, and find insight into a powerful corporation and industry. We’ve been focused on reporting on information that offers that insight.”

It’s telling that so many involved in the dissemination of this knowledge, including myself, have found themselves conflicted. That hesitance, however, is at least in part responsible for the quality, and character, of much of the reporting thus far, which aligns with the central projects of both journalism and media studies in their most essential forms: making sense of how structures of power work and showing how, and why, the way they wield their power matters.

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Virtual Reality Could Be The Toughest Fight Of Mark Zuckerberg’s Life

The Facebook founder says the Oculus Rift headset could be the future of the internet. But to get there, he needs to do battle with the entire gaming industry.

An attendee tries on the Oculus VR Inc. Rift Development Kit 2 headset at the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. Kevork Djansezian / Reuters

Just before the Oculus Rift Kickstarter campaign launched, Brendan Iribe brought what looked like a large hunk of plastic into the San Francisco offices of Unity Technologies, whose game development platform is one of the industry’s most widely used. Unity CEO David Helgason tried on what was the very first version of the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset whose maker was destined to be bought out by Facebook for more than $2 billion before ever having a product hit the market.

“It was really, really bad back then,” Helgason told BuzzFeed News in an interview. “It didn’t know what was down — they had to hard-reset what was down, otherwise the world would seem like it was tilting. Even then it was such a touching experience to be inside a world like that. But I got super sick from the first dev kit. It was terrible, right, but even then it was such a touching experience.”

Since then, the Rift has made a lot of progress. Even the very first iteration of the device, with all its flaws, was described by many who used it — both veteran game developers and regular users — as a masterpiece. But in interviews with more than a dozen game developers and executives either building applications for the virtual reality headset or familiar with those who are, one clear theme emerged: The Rift’s biggest challenge isn’t getting the technology right.

Instead, the make-or-break issue will be beating the competition and winning the hearts of developers, as swarms of technology majors pour billions into rolling out their own virtual reality devices. And unlike Oculus and its parent company Facebook, the competition has a track record of pushing out devices and games that reach, and delight, the mass market. At the Consumer Electronic Show this week in Las Vegas, manufacturers are expected to show off a wave of VR devices — and Oculus, too, will be there.

The Rift faces the tech industry’s perennial technology chicken-and-egg scenario: To get software developers on board, you need your devices in the hands of a critical mass of consumers — and consumers gravitate toward devices that have the best software. Facebook has many things going for it: near limitless cash, a visionary leader, a deep pool of technical talent. But it has no experience building or publishing games, which in the early days will be the killer app of virtual reality headsets.

A representative from Oculus VR declined an interview request for co-founders Iribe and Palmer Luckey.

The Rift needs hit games, and fast. Words With Friends creator Paul Bettner’s studio, Playful Corp, is one of the first publishers Facebook is working with to build those critical launch titles. Independent developers are still encouraged to develop for the kit through platforms like Unity, but with the competition racing to define the market, Facebook has rapidly begun working on developing its own software.

“I’ve been a huge advocate within Oculus pushing for a solution to that chicken-and-egg problem,” Bettner told BuzzFeed News. “It depends on who you talk to; my sense is that gamers and video games are the Trojan horse required to get virtual reality off the ground. From my standpoint the way you solve that, it becomes like any other console launch.”

The Nintendo Wii, which pioneered novel methods of gameplay using sensors and hand gestures, is a good example of the challenge ahead, Bettner said. “The Wii was doing enough things different that they were basically launching something [brand new] — not the same as VR but they had to prove this new controller was something people want to buy instead of buying a PlayStation,” he said. “They went out and built a bunch of first-party software [like Super Mario Galaxy and The Legend of Zelda] that proved the value of that platform, because they couldn’t rely on developers to do that.”

For now, the most formidable Rift competitor is Sony and its Morpheus VR headset. Through the PlayStation, Sony has a proven history of driving the adoption of new hardware, and whenever a new console comes out, Sony can lean on decades of relationships in the video game industry. On top of that are the game development studios it owns, which can finance to create massive sales-drivers like Uncharted and The Last of Us. That financing doesn’t just fund large development studios, but also massive marketing and advertising campaigns that can span from billboards to television and the Internet — and potentially even Facebook itself.

Releasing a big, expensive new game alongside a flagship new console is a dance Sony and the big studios have done for a long time. “When you do co-launches, you’re dependent, much like in your best friend relationships, and you learn over time who you can count on and similarly who you can’t count on,” said Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Bing Gordon, a longtime executive in the industry. “You know these companies have been to war together. Their relationships have stood the test of time.”

Sony, too, has already demoed launch titles for the Morpheus, like Eve Valkyrie, a space-piloting game that’s a spin-off of Eve Online — a game beloved by a niche of hardcore players who devote hundreds of hours to playing. Square Enix, the creator of the Final Fantasy series, has also planned to launch a version of Thief.

Sony’s Morpheus VR device, unveiled at the Game Developer Conference last year. Yuya Shino / Reuters

Many developers are also expecting Microsoft to have its own take on a VR headset, and like Sony, it has a proven record driving console adoption. Indeed, of the developers BuzzFeed News spoke with, many described an industry that is essentially holding its breath to see what Microsoft comes out with.

Other competitors are also trying to get in on the action. Samsung released its own virtual reality system, the Gear VR, which connects Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 to a headset powered by software from Oculus VR. Samsung might not fall directly into the category of competitor due to its partnership with Oculus VR, but the company has massive production and distribution channels and knows how to push devices through global retail channels in huge volumes. The company’s Galaxy Note phones are often credited with creating the market for larger “phablet”-sized phones.

And the competition could potentially expand beyond simple VR headsets. Magic Leap, a tight-lipped company specializing in augmented reality, raised $542 million in a financing round last year that Google led. The search giant had previously created an augmented-reality device of its own, Google Glass, which has so far failed to create an enthusiastic user base.

Each competitor has different, but equally formidable, mechanisms for getting as many devices into as many households as possible. And volume attracts not only developers — who will inevitably build the killer app that sends VR mainstream — but also large game publishers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Activision-Blizzard. Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise has been a staple for consoles — but if it’s going to make it into a VR headset, it’s going to find its way to the best-selling hardware first.

The same holds true for independent developers. For a small development studio, creating a game for multiple platforms takes a lot of time and money — both things in short supply for a small team, or a lone developer. While the process of “porting” games — translating the code to work on several consoles — has gotten easier, developers still have to ensure the game feels right.

“If you have a PC game that uses a keyboard and you go to console, you have to come up with a new way to come up with an interface,” Mike Bithell, the creator of Thomas Was Alone, told BuzzFeed News. “We took [Thomas Was Alone] to iPad, we had to completely reinvent the way to control. Those changes pile up. The porting the code bit, is probably now — and it’s weird to say it — the smallest job.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledges the challenge. “It needs to reach a very large scale, 50 million units to 100 million units, before it’ll really be a very meaningful thing as a computing platform,” Zuckerberg said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call last year. “So I do think it’s going to take a bunch of years to get there. Maybe, I don’t know, it’s hard to predict exactly, but I don’t think it’s going to get to 50 million units or 100 million units in the next few years.”

Zuckerberg’s vision for Oculus Rift isn’t necessarily restricted to games. And the applications for the Rift could very well go beyond simply video games; Zuckerberg himself has said it is essentially a bet on the future of the internet. But device adoption has historically been driven by games, whether with consoles or smartphones, and in getting into the console business, Facebook faces one of the greatest competitive challenges in its 10-year history.

An attendee tries an Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR headset during the French telecom Orange annual company’s innovations show in Paris on Oct. 2, 2014. Charles Platiau / Reuters

Still, Oculus VR — which Facebook says has shipped more than 100,000 development kits — won an early victory by proving there was a market for an inexpensive virtual reality headset. And it captured the attention of developers around the world, thanks in large part to co-founder Luckey’s own enthusiasm. In buying Oculus VR, Facebook put itself in a strong position, with widely distributed software developer kits, or SDKs for short, ahead of other device manufacturers.

Early in the company’s life, John Carmack — the creator of the Doom series and one of the most-revered minds in the gaming industry — joined as Oculus’ chief technology officer. The company also hired Michael Abrash from Valve — the company behind the Half LIfe and Counter Strike series — as the its chief scientist. Prior to working at Oculus VR, Abrash was working on a VR system for Valve around the time Luckey was creating prototypes for the Rift.

That early enthusiasm served Oculus well. Initially, Luckey and Iribe sought to channel the independent developer community, which was as excited about building an experience on a cheap VR headset as the duo were. In theory, the technology was so new and fascinating that it would be able to collect enough developers to hopefully strike gold and create the Mario or Angry Birds of the virtual reality era. One hit is often all it takes to make a platform take off — Halo drove the Xbox and Super Mario World drove the Super Nintendo.

But under new ownership, observers in the industry have already noticed a shift in how Oculus approaches the developer community. As Facebook has taken over, the company has enlisted the likes of Jason Rubin — best known for the Crash Bandicoot series and initial success of Naughty Dog — to begin focusing on content. Jason Holtman, who joined from Valve, is also playing a significant role in growing the company’s publishing efforts.

It all makes for a frenzied environment among game makers. “The entire industry is exploding behind closed doors,” Cloudhead Games Creative Director Denny Unger, whose company is developing for Oculus Rift, told BuzzFeed News. “You have [Samsung’s] Gear VR, you have Oculus, you have Morpheus — which we’re developing for as well. There’s a number of other players that are working on stuff in secret; it’s this maelstrom of innovation happening at the same time. As a developer it’s tricky to hedge your bets on one system.”

Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus, holds a Rift headset in his Irvine, California, offices, May 24, 2013. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / MCT

Unlike the traditional game console makers, Facebook also has the opportunity to create an virtual reality software development kit that can span multiple hardware sets — potentially shifting some of the burden of producing hardware on to more experienced manufacturers, while still maintaining its own line of devices. Luckey, too, has said it would be a positive outcome for Oculus. “In the long run, we would love to see content made with the Oculus SDK running across a wide variety of hardware,” he noted in a comment on Reddit.

Iribe, too, has said something to the same effect: “If we do want to get a billion people on virtual reality, which is our goal, we’re not going to sell 1 billion pairs of glasses ourselves,” he said in an interview earlier this year.

This is essentially a hedge against losing out among developers. Should Microsoft or Sony become the dominant hardware platform, Oculus VR can seek to embed its technology across the widest number of devices. But that, too, is dependent on there being enough room in the VR market for devices that aren’t made by the big console companies.

The fight is expected begin in the second half of 2015. But David De Martini, the former head of EA Partners who joined Oculus as its head of partnerships and has since retired, said the quality of its technology means Oculus could lose the battle over the first hit game and device, but still win the war.

“Even if the platform doesn’t take off rapidly when it first releases, it will win [because the immersive experiences on the Rift] are so far and above revolutionary,” he said. “When people see the capability of the platform, they’ll flock to it. That could be ahead of the release or as the product releases. It’ll lead to a slower rate of adoption, but ultimately it will win because it’s so amazing on those dimensions.”

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11 Revelations From Former Sony Pictures Chief Amy Pascal’s First Interview Since Being “Fired”

A week after the news broke that she’d be leaving her position of 15 years, Pascal sat down with Tina Brown on Wednesday, addressing the hack and its consequences for the first time publicly.

Less than a week after leaving her position as Sony Pictures chief, Amy Pascal sat down with Tina Brown during the Women in the World summit in San Francisco on Wednesday, and spoke openly about being at the center of the largest cyber hack in history, dealing with a massive security breech — which included the leak of her personal emails — and what really caused her to leave her position behind.

“All the women here are doing incredible things in this world. All I did was get fired,” Pascal joked to Brown.

1. On the moment she realized the extent of the hack:

“I ran this company and I had to worry about everybody who was really scared…People were really scared…But nagging in the back of my mind, I kept calling [IT] and being like, They don’t have our emails. Tell me they don’t have our emails. But then they did. That was a bad moment. And you know what you write in emails.”

2. On trying to deal with the exposed emails:

“There was this horrible moment where I realized there was absolutely nothing at all that I could do about whether I’d hurt people, whether I’d betrayed people, whether I’d said things I didn’t mean. I couldn’t protect anyone, not their feelings, not what they thought of me. And it was horrible because that’s how I figured I did my job for all of my life. And it was also strangely freeing because all of a sudden it was just what it was.”

3. On a leaked email from producer Scott Rudin to Pascal in which he called Angelina Jolie a “minimally talented spoiled brat.”

Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

“The first person I talked to was Angie after that email. Yes, everybody understood because we all live in this weird thing together called Hollywood. If we all actually were nice, it wouldn’t work.”

4. On the press publishing her emails:

“I’m not supposed to say anything about that. But I will say that…People found reasons that going through my trash and printing it was an OK thing to do. They found a way to justify that. And they have to live with that.” (via Re/code)

5. On what the experience taught her about writing emails:

“I did learn that you should always say exactly what you think directly to people all of the time and not maybe try to manage it, because you’re still feeling what you were feeling that you didn’t say and then it comes out in another way and I think that was maybe a really good lesson.”

6. On women being paid less than men:

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

“I run a business. People want to work for less money, I’ll pay them less money. I don’t call them up and go, ‘Can I give you some more?’ Because that’s not what you do when you run a business. The truth is is what women have to do is not work for less money, they have to walk away. People shouldn’t be so grateful for jobs…People should know what they’re worth and say no. And they will.”

7. On the roles available to women in film:

“I think that the most important thing that we can do in our business is make movies with female protagonists and movies with female villains and movies where women are the plot of the movie is about them, where their actions have consequences in the story. Because the worst thing you can do is just be on the sidelines.”

8. On actors:

“They’re bottomless pits of need. You’ve never seen anything like it. They are so great. They’re this magical thing that no one else can be. It’s a duality of both things. They’re filled with the need to be loved and to be great, but that’s because they’re magical.”

9. On The Interview being a bad movie:

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

“You don’t get to choose what you stand up for.” (Via Aarti Shahani/Twitter)

10. On being a working mom:

“You’re guilty all the time no matter where you are… But I was born to work. I wasn’t that great of a student, I wasn’t that great at anything else. I loved working. I loved working when I was little. I got my first job at 13. That’s what makes me feel good about myself. I don’t even know what that means. But I loved working. And if that’s who you are, that’s what you have to do. I’d be no good to anybody if I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do.”

11. On leaving the job she had for almost 15 years:

“I’m scared. I’m 56, it’s not exactly the time you want to start all over again. But it’s kind of great. And I have to. And it’s going to be a new adventure for me.”

Watch a clip from Brown’s interview with Pascal here:

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