Sony has reportedly handed its troubles to one of the best in the business, crisis management expert Judy Smith.
The 56-year-old "fixer" and inspiration behind ABC's hit political drama "Scandal" has been hired to advise Sony Chairman Amy Pascal, according to TMZ. Smith is said to be dealing with the widespread criticism over the studio canceling the release of the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy, The Interview.
"Our sources tell us Smith has been especially helpful to Sony because of her deep contacts with the government, and she has been involved on both the D.C. and Hollywood fronts.
We're told Smith and other members of the Sony crisis team have been behind some of the recent messaging ... that this is not just a Sony issue but an industry issue ... which takes some of the heat off Sony.
We're also told the crisis team is actually pleased with George Clooney's attack as it relates to creative and powerful people in the entire industry -- not just Sony -- taking a stand.
And we're told the crisis team is also pushing the message ... Sony's decision was in large part to protect the safety and welfare of its employees.
We're told the ultimate mission is to somehow contain the PR fallout and navigate a way forward."
News of Smith's involvement comes just one day after Pascal met with Reverend Al Sharpton to discuss her racially insensitive jokes about President Obama that were revealed in a leaked email. She and Sony execs are now said to be working with Sharpton, his National Action Network, the NAACP, the National Urban League and the Black Women's Roundtable to shift Hollywood's current environment.
(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Variety)