Paramount TV’s Amy Powell Fired Over Racist Remarks
Paramount TV President Amy Powell was fired from the company over allegations that she made racially insensitive remarks. The incident occurred during a discussion about the “First Wives Club” reboot, a project that features a mostly black cast. The ex-president deliberately made generalizations about black women that struck some on the call as offensive.
After a complaint was filed to human resources, who with the legal department, investigated the claims and those involved on the notes call. According to sources the Television Company considered discipline but decided to fire Powell after she denied allegations.
Jim Gianopulos, head of Paramount Pictures, said in a memo to staff that “…multiple individuals came to us to raise concerns around comments made by Amy Powell in a professional setting.”
You can read the full memo below.
Last week, multiple individuals came to us to raise concerns around comments made by Amy Powell in a professional setting, which they believed were inconsistent with our company’s values. Having spent the past several days conducting a thorough investigation into this matter and speaking to those who were present, our Human Resources and Legal teams came to the same conclusion, and we have made the decision to terminate Amy’s employment, effective immediately.
Amy has made lasting contributions to Paramount in her 14 years with the company, including building a world-class team at Paramount TV. While it is incredibly difficult to part ways with a valued member of our community, it is imperative that we uphold our values and ensure that all employees feel safe and included in the workplace.
We will begin immediately looking for Amy’s replacement. In the interim, Andrew Gumpert, Paramount’s Chief Operating Officer, will provide operational support and Mireille Soria, Brian Robbins and Wyck Godfrey — Presidents of Paramount Animation, Paramount Players and Paramount Motion Picture Group, respectively — will provide creative input, where needed, to the incredibly talented Paramount TV team, which is very well-placed to continue the incredible growth of this division.
Importantly, I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the type of company and culture we’re committed to building at Paramount. It’s one of inclusion, honesty and accountability – where diversity is critical to ensuring that all ideas, backgrounds and perspectives are embraced and respected.
We will continue this conversation in smaller groups and on a companywide scale in the coming months and, in the meantime, I want us to take stock of where we are and explore what more we can do to foster a safe, supportive and inclusive workplace. Through direct engagement and an open dialogue, my hope is that we can undertake this progress together, in an environment where each and every one of our employees feels heard and valued.
Thank you for your continued hard work and ongoing contributions to this effort.
It is worth noting that racism in the U.S. has existed from the very start. Therefore, racial contradictions, unfortunately, persists in multi-ethnic and multicultural American society. To eradicate racism, some American activists call for the termination of the use of the ethnic and racial identity of people as an excuse, advantage or justification.
Aizhana Danabekova holds a BA in International Relations and is currently studying for an MSocSc in Cultural Sociology at University College Dublin. She started her career in journalism in Almaty, Kazakhstan at Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. She wrote articles about different cultures and led the title “Let’s learn Kazakh”.