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Thandie Newton says she left ‘Charlie’s Angels’ after disturbing conversation with Sony Pictures head

Thandie Newton speaks on stage during the screening and panel discussion of the HBO drama series 'Westworld' at Wolf Theatre on March 6, 2020 in North Hollywood, Calif.
Thandie Newton speaks on stage during the screening and panel discussion of the HBO drama series 'Westworld' at Wolf Theatre on March 6, 2020 in North Hollywood, Calif. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

Thandie Newton recently spoke publicly about an interaction she had with Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal that she remembers as a racist encounter.

The Westworld actor spoke about the encounter in an interview with Vulture and recalled turning down a role in Sony Pictures’ Charlie’s Angels remake because the director wanted to highlight her body in the opening scene.

“One of the biggest movies I didn’t end up doing was because the director said to me, ‘I can’t wait for this. The first shot is going to be … You’re going to think it’s like yellow lines down a road, and you pull back and you realize it’s the stitching because the denim is so tight on your a– it’s going to look like tarmac,” Newton said.

Read more: ‘Magnum P.I.’, ‘MacGyver’ showrunner Peter Lenkov fired over claims of toxic work environment

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“I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t think we’re going to go down this road together.'”

Newton said she met with Pascal, who stepped down as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and head of the film studio in 2015, and that Pascal told the actor that the movie would have to make her character “believable” as a woman with a college education.

Click to play video '‘Charlie’s Angels’ trailer' ‘Charlie’s Angels’ trailer
‘Charlie’s Angels’ trailer

The actor said that Pascal also suggested there could be a scene in a bar where her character “gets up on a table and starts shaking her booty.”

“She’s basically reeling off these stereotypes of how to be more convincing as a Black character,” Newton said. “Everything she said, I was like, ‘Nah, I wouldn’t do that.’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, but you’re different. You’re different.’ That was Amy Pascal. That’s not really a surprise, is it? Let’s face it: I didn’t do the movie as a result.”

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Pascal told the outlet that she does not remember the conversation that Newton recalled.

“While I take her words seriously, I have no recollection of the events she describes, nor do any of her representatives who were present at that casting session,” Pascal said. “I’ve long considered Thandie a friend; I’m thankful that I’ve had the chance to make movies with her; and I hope to work with her again in the future.”

Read more: Amy Pascal steps down as co-chairman of Sony Pictures

Pascal left Sony Pictures in 2015 nearly three months after a massive hack hit the company and revealed embarrassing emails.

During the hack, Pascal came under fire for racist remarks about Barack Obama’s presumed choice in movies that surfaced in leaked emails. She apologized for “insensitive and inappropriate” comments in her emails that she called “not an accurate reflection of who I am.”

Pascal also faced criticism for greenlighting the film that may have inspired the hack to begin with: The Interview, which starred Seth Rogen and James Franco as bumbling journalists tasked with killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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